The South Korean government continues to assist the Philippines in the construction of the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island bridges project.
This as the two countries, represented by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Export Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (KEXIM-EDCF) Executive Director Tae-Soo Kim, have exchanged copies of signed loan agreement for the US$56.1-million loan extended by the latter to the Philippines.
South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul said that “Korea is very glad to support the PGN Bridge project that has been long overdue since this project was proposed.”
“This project is expected to promote economic growth in the entire Visayas by facilitating commerce, mobility and tourist activities in this region,” the ambassador added.
On Wednesday, May 4, both countries received from each other their copies of the loan accord that was signed last month.
The loan will be used to finance the engineering services for the inter-island bridges that would link Panay, Guimaras, and Negros in Western Visayas.
The engineering services of the project include the preliminary design, detailed engineering design, and procurement assistance.
It will also “support the Philippine government in preparing and completing the necessary activities and works prior to the construction of the two bridges.”
The bridge project involves the construction of two sea-crossing, four-lane bridges spanning 32.47-kilometers (km) combined, including connecting roads and interchanges.
According to the embassy, the loan is zero interest with a 0.1 percent service charge per disbursement and covers a maturity period of 40 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period.
With a total estimated cost of P187.54 billion, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project is expected to commence engineering services this year, and begin construction in 2025.