Contrary to claims by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that the Panguil Bay Bridge is part of President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” central infrastructure program, the project was initiated and approved under the administration of the late President Benigno. Aquin III.
In an article posted on its website on June 2, 2022 titled “Construction of Mindanao’s Longest Bridge Now Halfway”, DPWH said the project is “listed among 119 landmark infrastructure projects as part of the “Build, Build, Build” program.” http://(https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/26522)
However, it was under the previous administration that the Philippine government secured funding for the project through a loan agreement with the Korea Export-Import Bank-Economic Development Cooperation Fund (KEXIM- EDF). The agreement was signed on April 28, 2016.
In fact, the signing of the loan agreement for what would be the longest bridge in Mindanao was posted on the DPWH website on June 10, 2016, shortly before Aquino III left power. (https://www.dpwh.gov.ph/dpwh/news/777)
“With an estimated cost of PHP 4.859 billion, PHP 4.272 billion is to be funded by KEXIM-EDCF, while the remaining PHP 587 million will be funded from the Philippine national budget,” said the June 10, 2016 article on the agency’s website. .
“Discussions on the Panguil Bay Bridge Project began in 2014. It was proposed to connect Tubod Municipality to Lanao del Norte and Tangub Town to Misamis Occidental by reducing travel time to seven minutes per compared to the usual 2.5 hours, which includes waiting. the weather and the queue at the port,” he added.
The DPWH did not cite these details in its June 2, 2022 article.
The agency said the project “will not only reduce travel time, but also improve the transportation of goods and services in connecting municipalities. In addition, it will enhance the region’s advantage as a transportation hub. most competitive, efficient and attractive transhipment and location for industrial enterprises in the southern Philippines.
“Scheduled to be completed by December 2023, the Panguil Bay Bridge Project will facilitate travel as it will only take seven minutes from Tangub to Tubod compared to one hour and 30 minutes via Roll-On Roll-Off vessels operating from Ozamis to Mucas or ashore. travel the road from Panguil Bay for two to two and a half hours for a total length of 100 kilometers,” he said. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno / MindaNews)
(This fact-checking article was produced with support from Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)