President Duterte turned the spotlight on China and the workers for making the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge a reality, saying the national government really had nothing to do but supervise the project.
Duterte made the statement as he led the inauguration of the China-funded project in Makati on Thursday, July 29.
In his speech, the President stressed that the new bridge was not his work.
“This is not my work. This is the work of the people involved directly, the People’s Republic of China, who provided the money, and the workhorse of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) and its dedicated workers, at ‘yung mga taong naghirap dito. Sa kanila ito ang proyekto (and those who worked hard here. This is their project),” he said.
“The credit and the honor should belong to the one who funded the project and, of course, the one who toiled night and day to make this bridge a reality,” he added.
According to the President, the government did very little to help in finishing the infrastructure project but said it was a testament to the administration’s commitment to making the public’s lives more comfortable.
“Workers on the way up of the echelons of government have nothing to do with this except maybe to supervise, and from time to time, ask the progress of the project in Cabinet meetings,” he said.
“It is a testament to the strong commitment of this administration to improve mobility and promote ease of travel among motorists and commuters in Metro Manila and its adjacent communities,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte expressed his gratitude to China for financing the project.
“The P1.46-billion funding that they have extended highlights the goodwill of the Chinese people and its government, and further cements the good relations between our two countries,” he said.
The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge is expected to decongest EDSA and accommodate 50,000 motorists daily. It is one of the 25 infrastructure projects under the EDSA Decongestion Program.
The bridge connected Estrella Street in Makati City to Pantaleon Street and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City, cutting the travel time between these important business districts in the metropolis to just 10 minutes.
“The new bridge will help ease traffic congestion along major thoroughfares in Metro Manila and will improve the mobility of people and goods between Makati and Mandaluyong,” Duterte said.
“It will also support our efforts for the gradual reopening of our economy, and improve the resilience of roads and bridges in Metro Manila against natural disasters,” he added.
The President said the two-way, four-lane, 500-meter concrete girder bridge was designed and constructed to become resilient against natural disasters.