Editorial: Again, that third bridge-A A +A
Monday, August 18, 2014
CORDOVA town Mayor Adelino Sitoy again talked about the construction of a third bridge that would connect the Cebu mainland to Mactan island. He even has a projected date for the groundbreaking: January 2015.
We use the qualifier “again” because the mayor already talked about this in other forums. What we find interesting, though, is that agencies that matter, like the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), don’t seem to share what the mayor is talking about.
To be fair, there have been presented various proposals for the construction of a third bridge. But in this one, Sitoy has come up with details: that the project is a joint undertaking between Cordova and the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) of the group of business tycoon Manny Pangilinan. So it is a public-private partnership (PPP).
Under the plan, one end of the bridge will be in Shell island still in Cordova town and the other end will be at the mouth of the Guadalupe river, either crossing or connecting the viaduct of the South Road Properties (SRP). This needs the approval of the Cebu City Government.
Now, here’s the catch: The RDC said a project proposal on the bridge project is still to be presented to and endorsed by the RDC. A DPWH official said only one proponent for a third bridge project has talked with them. And the proponent was from Japan. The city government, too, has been silent on this issue.
What this means is that the third bridge proposal the Cordova mayor is talking about is still at its very basic stage, which is the technical study done by MPTC with the help of the Cordova Municipal Government. After that, it still has to make the rounds of the bureaucracy—and this stage could take time considering the magnitude of the project.
And we are not even talking there of the opposition the proposal will possibly meet that could scuttle it altogether. So the claim that groundbreaking for the bridge project would be in 2015 may be off.
Still, it would be good to encourage Cordova and MPTC to speed up the completion of the technical study. Cebu needs that third bridge, and government officials are welcome to bring the discussion on its construction beyond the realm of talk.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2014.