Twin bridge linking LuzViMin

                     Alvarez eyes Chinese funds for twin bridge linking LuzViMin

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today bared that during his bilateral talks with Chinese premier Li Keqiang last month they had initial discussion on the possibility that China could provide funding for various infrastructure projects in the country.

The two officials held their bilateral talks at the end of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit held here in Manila.

In a radio interview, Alvarez said that among others, he is proposing to the administration to include in its “Build, Build, Build” program the construction of two bridges to link Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“Ang gusto ko rito na ipanukala sa ating administrasyon na … dudugtungin natin yung Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao sa pamamagitan ng bridges, two bridges: yung manggaling ng Matnog (Sorsogon) connecting to Allen, Samar; at saka yung isa naman manggaling ng San Ricardo sa Southern Leyte to connect to Surigao City,” Alvarez said.

 The bridges may even include provisions to allow for trains to cross from Luzon up to Mindanao, according to Alvarez.

“Ngayon, kung may sapat na pondo pa, ay sa pagitan noon ay maglalagay tayo ng riles para naman maidugtong din yung tren magmula Bicol hanggang Samar, Leyte. And then from there also, Southern Leyte crossing to Surigao City at saka dumugtong na doon sa Mindanao railway,” Alvarez said.

To realize this vision, Alvarez said that during his talk with Premier Li, he broached the suggestion for China to provide the funding for such crucial infrastructure project.

“Nagkaroon kami ng bilateral talks ni Premiere Li, at naimungkahi ko sa kanya yung possible sources of funding para sa different infrastructure projecs,” Alvarez said.  Apart from the two bridges, Alvarez said the Chinese funding could cover the construction of other crucial infrastructure such as new airports in strategic areas.

Alvarez said the two bridges would allow unimpeded travel by land in the entire country. He said that during stormy weather, passengers crossing from Luzon to Visayas are often stranded until the storm subsides. In such situation  the transfer of goods between these areas also grind to a halt.

He believes that the twin bridge project connecting the entire country is not only technologically feasible. Alvarez said it may even be possible that it could be completed within the remaining four years of the Duterte administration.

 “Ako, I’m confident na kayang gawin iyan. Dahil nga kung maging basehan natin ano, yung the longest bridge sa buong mundo ay ginawa ng China–that is connecting Macau and Hong Kong–and that is about 55 kilometers at nagawa nila in four years,” Alvarez said.

 In contrast, the distance between Matnog in Sorsogon to Allen, Samar is just around 23 kilometers. On the other hand, the distance between San Ricardo, Southern Leyte to Surigao is 44 kilometers. ###

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