By Richel V. Umel
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday led the groundbreaking ceremony of the P7.8-billion Panguil Bay Bridge (PBB) project that will connect Tubod, Lanao del Norte and Tangub City, Misamis Occidental.
Duterte was received by local officials led by Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, 1st District Rep. Mohammad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo, 2nd District Rep. Abdullah “Bobby” Dimakuta Dimaporo and Tubod Mayor Leoncio Bagol, along with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han-Dong Man.
The Lanao del Norte Provincial Government is overwhelmed with the President himself leading the groundbreaking ceremony.
“I am so happy that finally, after more than 30 years, this project was realized and then, no less than President Duterte came here para sa groundbreaking. The people here are really very happy. It’s a dream come true what had just happened here,” Lanao del Norte Governor Quibranza-Dimaporo said.
Dimaporo added that Panguil Bay Bridge will bring investors to Lanao del Norte.
“This bridge is like the door of investment, not only in Lanao del Norte but even in Misamis Occidental, Ozamis City and Tangub City. We have so many tourism attractions here. In fact, the bridge will also become a tourist destination because it has a design, it has a character and it’s the longest in the Philippines,” she said
The two-lane 3.7 kilometer extradosed-type bridge will shorten the travel time between the two provinces to seven minutes from one and a half hour via a barge from Mukas Port in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte to Ozamis City.
“PBB, which is expected to be completed in 2021, is the first of 16 bridges to be built that will connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao under the Duterte administration’s flagship ‘Build, Build, Build’ program,” Secretary Mark Villar said.
DPWH earlier confirmed that the road right-of-way issues on both sides of the bridge have already been addressed.
“The Panguil Bay Bridge was once an idea and dream of the late Lanao del Norte Provincial Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza in early 1980’s whom he shared his vision to the late Tangub City Mayor Alfonso Tan,” said Lanao del Norte 2nd District Representative Abdullah Dimaporo.
The Panguil Bay Bridge’s feasibility was crafted in 1996 and was funded by the South Korea is the longest bridge in the country longer than San Juanico Bridge that connected Samar and Leyte provinces.
“There are several investors who took time to offer the proposals and feasibility studies in coordination with the National Economic Development Authority in Region 10,” Dimaporo said.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said the project is in line with the Build-Build-Build project wherein the PBB a gift from the South Korean Government funded under the Korean Economic Development Cooperation with the presence of South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Don-Man.
Duterte, in his speech, thanked the Republic of Korea.
Duterte during the event was with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Lanao del Norte 1st District Representative Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo , Secretary Villar and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.