The Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) VI checked on the status of implementation of the Build, Build, Build Projects (Infrastructure Flagship Projects) in Western Visayas during its 2021 3rd Quarter Meeting last September 20 via teleconferencing. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) VI presented to the RPMC VI the status of the Boracay Circumferential Road, Bacolod-Negros Occidental Economic Highway, and Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island (PGN) Bridge. The PGN Bridge, eyed as a breakthrough project, is in the detailed engineering design stage for the first phase, which is the Panay-Guimaras connection.

The PhP1.94-billion Boracay Circumferential Road involves the improvement and widening of the 21.64-km main road, which will reduce travel time from Cagban Port/Tambisaan Port in Barangay Manoc-Manoc to Iligan Beach in Barangay Yapak by 40-45 minutes. The project has a physical accomplishment of 45.92 percent and is expected to be completed by 2024.

The 49.82-km Bacolod-Negros Occidental Economic Highway covers the opening, concreting and widening of a 38.763-km road, construction of 10 new bridges, provision of slope protection works, and improvement of an existing 11.149-km road and six bridges. The project, with a total project cost of PhP7.986 billion, is 61.28 percent completed. Travel time from Southern Negros (Sum-ag) and Northern Negros (Victorias City) to Bacolod-Silay Airport will be reduced approximately by 25 and 40 minutes, respectively.

According to DPWH VI, the PGN Bridge is part of the National Island-Link Projects and among the flagship projects of the Build, Build, Build Program. A total of 32.47 kms, with a bridge length of 18.08 kms, will connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros. Said connection is expected to boost the economic development of the region. The detailed engineering design is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Build, Build, Build is the Duterte administration’s flagship program to accelerate public infrastructure expenditure. BBB projects aim to increase the productive capacity of the economy, create jobs, increase incomes, and strengthen the investment climate leading to sustained inclusive growth.(EAMPPareja/PMED)