THE Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has kicked off the study of the proposed long span bridges that would link Surigao City in Caraga to Southern Leyte to Bohol.
The Department of Public Works and Highways said the Jica survey team arrived in Southern Leyte to check Guadalupe in Maasin City and Benit village in San Ricardo town.
Benit has an existing port that serves as the region’s exit point to Mindanao while Guadalupe is the nearest point in Southern Leyte to Bohol Island.
Ma. Margarita Junia of the DPWH said this could be the initial step in the realization of one of President Duterte’s visions to connect Mindanao to Leyte up to Bohol.
“This is not yet part of the actual feasibility study, but their findings will help the DPWH determine proper measures to be undertaken before drafting the project’s detailed plan,” Junia said in a statement. “This would surely be a long process. The fund has not yet been sourced, and other equally vital bridges are also planned. This will involve a huge sum of money.”
The Surigao-Leyte project involves the construction of cable-stayed bridges with a length of 23 kilometers connecting Lipata in Surigao City to San Ricardo, Southern Leyte, crossing the Surigao Strait.
The Leyte-Bohol bridge is part of the long term plan to connect islands in the Visayas Islands.
Jica has been a long-time development ally of the Philippines that provides technical and financial assistance in the country’s development projects with the goal to sustain economic growth and promote human security. (pna)