The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) led by Secretary Roger G. Mercado met with interested stakeholders in the first interagency steering committee for the Detailed Engineering Design (D.E.D.) of the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project.
The first convening of the interagency committee on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 provided local leaders of Bataan and Cavite and other stakeholders the opportunity to express their concerns as the detailed engineering design works for this DPWH flagship infrastructure project is now at 34 percent based on February 2022 progress report.
The interagency committee, chaired by Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain with Project Director Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 2 as deputy chair, was created in 2021 under Department Order No. 91 to ensure efficient project implementation and provide guidance and resolve issues/constraints that may arise during the course of the D.E.D. activities.
The intentions of this interagency meeting is to pool issues and concerns of all stakeholders wanting to share with the DPWH and the Consultants team to anticipate some possible challenges as we go with the detailed engineering design that will be completed by early 2023, said Undersecretary Sadain.
In his message, Secretary Mercado expressed confidence that this flagship infrastructure project of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration that has been delayed by the pandemic will definitely be continued in the next administration.
Earlier, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Kelly Bird affirmed the Bank’s 100 percent commitment to DPWH projects they are working on including the Bataan Cavite Interlink Project not only for the D.E.D. stage as he has high hopes that the project will commence very soon.
DPWH has already requested the Department of Finance to initiate the application of loan from ADB to fund the civil works.
Back in 2018, DPWH team led by Undersecretary Sadain and ADB met together to talk about how ADB can help DPWH in its infrastructure programs and among the projects that came up was the Bataan Cavite Interlink Bridge.
According to Undersecretary Sadain, Chief Implementer of flagship infrastructure projects under Build Build Build Program, the planned project is so significant that it yielded the highest internal economic rate of return at 34.17 percent when its feasibility study was conducted that is very unusual for a flagship project to have this kind of EIRR contrary to other proposed interlink bridges.
The project is hugely transformative for the Philippines, transformative for Bataan and Cavite because it will improve connectivity and open up economic opportunities for these provinces.
It will not only have economic impact but will also build strong family ties as more time can be spent with their love ones and also enables more people to see the beauty of Bataan and experience history of our country while enjoying beautiful scenery of clear water, added Secretary Mercado.
The forum was attended by Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia; Bataan 2nd District Representative Jose Enrique Garcia III; Engr. Gilbert Gandia representing Cavite Governor Juanito Victor "Jonvic" Remulla Jr.; DPWH Acting Undersecretary Constante Llanes Jr.; DPWH Project Managers Teresita Bauzon and Soledad Florencio; Bureau Directors; and among other representatives from different agencies.
Governor Garcia said that project will not only connect Bataan to Cavite but also connect Region 3 to Region 4A and therefore connecting to National Capital Region, three (3) of the fastest growing regions in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Congressman Garcia said that this connectivity project has been a longtime dream of the people of Bataan that is inching closer to its implementation very soon.
Although limited activities to move around and release of requirements were hampered because of the pandemic, nonetheless, the Consultants were able to undertake some early survey works especially on the land approaches for both Bataan and Cavite.
Some recalibration of timeline were done for the D.E.D. of Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge Project funded by the Infrastructure Preparation and Innovation Facility (IPIF)-Additional Financing ADB Loan No. 3886-PHL and under contract with the Consultant, T.Y. Lin International in joint with Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants, Ltd. in association with Renardet S.A and DCCD.