Mark A. Villar, former chief of Public Works and Highways, pledged to push for the Mega Bridge Master Plan project to connect the island provinces of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao via land travel, according to a report by Inquirer.
The plan involves the construction of short and long-span bridges that connect these island regions together. According to Villar, there are eight bridges under the master plan that are already in the advanced stages of construction. These bridges are:
- Panglao Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge
- Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge
- Panay-Guimaras-Negros Link Bridge
- Guicam Bridge
- Panguil Bay Bridge
- Cebu Mactan Bridge and Coastal Road Construction
- Three Tawi-Tawi Bridges
- Samal Island Davao City Connector Bridge
All of these projects, including those that have yet to be started, are scheduled for completion some time between this year and 2031. Villar says that the completion of these projects will improve the lives of Filipino citizens and promote connectivity between islands.
What to expect with the Mega Bridge Masterplan Project
Though the project was initially shelved in 2019, as reported by Rappler, several projects under the plan have since been completed or started. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) updated the information on the project as recently as April of last year in their Annual Infrastructure Program for 2021.
According to their agenda, there will be at least twelve new bridges to be finished within the next ten years under the Inter-Island Linkage/Mega Bridge Program.
Among the projects that will greatly improve mobility between island provinces is the 3-km Panguil Bay Bridge that connects the city of Tubod in Lanao del Norte and Tangub in Misamis Occidental. It’s intended to reduce travel time between each city from 2.5 hours to a mere 7 minutes.
Moreover, the 32.15-km Bataan Cavite Interlink Bridge will expedite travel between Naic, Cavite and Mariveles, Bataan. This project will see the construction of two smaller bridges — the North Channel and South Channel bridge, spanning 400 and 900 meters, respectively. Upon completion, it will only take 40 minutes to travel between these two cities from the usual 5 hours.
Cebu is also expected to see vast improvements in its transportation and mobility infrastructure under the program, particularly with the Panglao – Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge and Cebu Mactan Bridge and Coastal Construction Project.
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 the Cebu Port area will be cut down to 25 minutes from 45 minutes.
The 1.2 km Panglao – Tagbilaran City Offshore Connector Bridge will connect Bohol to the island municipalities of Panglao and Dauis, cutting down the travel time from Tagbilaran City Seaport to Panglao Island from 45 minutes to only 15 minutes.
Mobility projects spur economic growth
The Mega Bridge Master Plan Project falls under the DPWH’s Build, Build, Build Program which is intended to spur economic growth, improve mobility, and create jobs for citizens in the Philippines.
Several projects under the program are already complete or partially finished, resulting in an uptick in interest for properties located in areas near these infrastructures, such as the Skyway Stage 3 and the C5 South Link Expressway.
As more infrastructure projects are completed, predictions for a bullish property market in the next several years are likely to come to fruition.
The Cavite Laguna Expressway (Calax) Silang East Interchange was opened to the public in August last year. Subsequently, areas like Bacoor have posted rates in leads and pageviews for residential and commercial properties on the Lamudi platform in 3Q 2021, according to the recent Lamudi Academy year-end webinar.
Even areas with ongoing construction are already registering a significant increase in demand for residential properties, such as locations with projected Metro Manila Subway stations.
Source: Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Rappler, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)