10 things to know about the plan to connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao 



Anna Mae Y. Lamentillo

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,640 islands. Due to the lack of infrastructure investment in the last five decades — the cost to transport goods within the country has been expensive. The 2.1 km San Juanico Bridge, which was built in 1969, is still the longest bridge fifty years after.

This will no longer be the case with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Mega Bridge Project, a series of short and long-span bridges linking island provinces to eventually connect Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao via land travel.

People would often ask — what is “Build, Build, Build”? It is a springboard, a chance to turn a dream of connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao into a reality. It means connecting 81 provinces, 146 cities and 1,489 municipalities.

According to Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, eight bridges under the Mega Bridge Masterplan are in the advanced stages: the Bataan Cavite Interlink Bridge, the Panglao Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge, the Guicam Bridge, the Panay Guimaras Bridge, the Cebu Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction Project, the Panguil Bay Bridge and the Samal Island Davao City Connector Bridge.

Here are ten facts about the Mega Bridge Masterplan:

  1. The 3.169 km Panguil Bay Bridge will connect the city of Tangub in Misamis Occidental and the municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte. Once completed, travel time from Lanao del Norte to Misamis Occidental will be reduced from 2.5 hours (via the Tangub-Molave-Tubod Road or the Tangub - Kapatagan - Tubod Road to only 7 minutes.

    Panguil Bay Bridge (Perspective)

  2. The 3.98 km toll-free Davao - Samal Island Bridge will serve about 25,000 vehicles a day and reduce travel time from Davao City to the Island Garden City of Samal from 30 minutes to only two to five minutes. The 32.47 km Panay Guimaras Negros Bridge will connect the islands of Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras and Negros.

  3. When completed the travel time from Iloilo to Buenavista in Guimaras will be reduced from 45 minutes to only 10 minutes. Moreover, travel time from Guimaras to Pulupandan in Negros will be reduced from 60 minutes to only 15 minutes.

  4. The 32.15 km four-lane Bataan Cavite Interlink bridge will start from Mariveles, Bataan and end in Naic, Cavite.  It will involve the construction of two navigation bridges — the North Channel Bridge and the South Channel Bridge with main spans of 400 meters and 900 meters respectively. When the Bataan Cavite Interlink bridge is completed, travel time between Bataan and Cavite will be reduced from nearly 5 hours to only 40 minutes.

    Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge (Perspective)

  5. The Cebu Mactan Bridge and Coastal Construction Project will involve the construction of a 3.3 km bridge with an elevated viaduct of 2.93 km and a 4.9 km coastal road expressway with a 4.571km elevated viaduct. When completed, travel time from Mactan Cebu International Airport to Cebu Port area will be reduced from 45 minutes to only 25 minutes.

  6. The 1.2 km four-lane Panglao - Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge will connect Bohol to the island municipalities of Dauis and Panglao. Construction of the two short span bridges spanning 42.7 meters and its 1.3 km approach road has already started in 2018.

  7. The Panglao - Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge bridge will reduce the travel time from Tagbilaran City Seaport to Panglao Island from 45 minutes to only 15 minutes.

  8. In partnership with Asian Development Bank, three bridges in Tawi-Tawi will be constructed: the 540 meter Nalil - Sikkiat Bridge, the 569 meter Tongsinah - Paniongan Bridge, and the 680 km Malassa - Lupa Pula Bridge.

  9. The 1.208 km Guicam Bridge will connect the Olutanga Island to Zamboanga Peninsula via the Canalizo Strait. This is part of the Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Masterplan.

  10. Also included in the Masterplan are the Bohol Leyte Bridge, the Cebu Bohol Link Bridge, and the Luzon - Samar Bridge.