They Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project is expected to commence engineering services this year after the Philippines and Korea on Wednesday, April 4, exchanged their copies of the agreement for the US$56.6-million loan extended by the Export Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (KEXIM-EDCF).
The loan which amounts 2.9 billion in peso will be for zero-interest with a 0.1 percent service charge per disbursement and covers a maturity period of 40 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period, DOF said in a statement.
The project is one of the big ticket of the Duterte administration under its Build, Build, Build program.
KEXIM-EDCF’s loan for the engineering services of the project, which includes the preliminary design, detailed engineering design and procurement assistance, will support the Philippine government in preparing and completing the necessary activities and works prior to the construction of the two bridges.
The interisland bridges project involves the construction of two sea-crossing, four-lane bridges spanning 32.47-kilometers (km) combined—including connecting roads and interchanges—that will connect the islands of Panay, Guimaras and Negros in Western Visayas.
With a total estimated cost of P187.54 billion, the actual construction is expected to commence by 2025.
On behalf of their respective governments, Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and KEXIM-EDCF Executive Director Tae-Soo Kim received from each other their copies of the loan accord that was signed last month.