CATARMAN, NO. SAMAR – The administration under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. will continue the implementation of a high impact infrastructure project in Northern Samar that was included in the “Build, Build, Build” program of the previous administration.

Department of Public Works and Highways 8 (DPWH-8) Regional Director Allan Borromeo said during the regional briefing for Eastern Visayas lawmakers on August 10, 2022 at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City that funding for the Laoang Bridges 2 and 3 will come from the official development assistance of Korea.

“The high impact projects, Laoang Bridges 2 and 3 will definitely push through and will be funded through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA),” Borromeo told the Eastern Visayas solons.

Borromeo said the project is expected to commence in 2023.

The two bridges are vital components of the Php 1.126 billion Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project (SPCR), which will link the Pacific towns of Laoang, Catubig and Palapag in Northern Samar and complete the circumferential road network in Samar Island.

The construction of the two bridges forms part of the SPCR Project Phase 2 from Catarman-Laoang Road Junction to Laoang-Palapag Road Junction. Once completed, it will lessen the travel time and establish a sustainable economic development foundation in Northern Samar.

The SPCR is one of the seven flagship projects of the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan expressed his gratitude to the national government for finally including the construction of Laoang Bridges 2 and 3 among the high-impact projects, which it will implement in the coming years.

“We thank the National Government, especially former president Rodrigo Duterte, for approving our province’s proposed project during his incumbency,” Ongchuan, who has been pushing for its approval since he became second district congressman and provincial chief executive, said.  

The project, which includes the construction of the Talisay – Poblacion Laoang Bridge (Laoang Bridge II) and the Calomotan – Pangpang (Laoang Bridge III), has long been proposed during the term of then Second District Congressman Emil L. Ong in 2007.  The Regional Development Council (RDC) 8’s Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee endorsed the project to the RDC Full Council in a meeting on June 23, 2021. On July 8, 2021, the RDC approved and endorsed the proposed projects to the national government. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail August 8-14, 2022 issue)