By Office of Senator Chiz Escudero
March 10, 2016
CALBAYOG CITY – Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Thursday said he will push for the construction of a bridge connecting Luzon to Visayas to improve trade and commerce between the two islands and hasten the delivery of government aid during calamities.
The independent vice-presidential candidate said the infrastructure project connecting Allen, Northern Samar to Matnog, Sorsogon is part of the agenda of the “Gobyernong may Puso” led by Sen. Grace Poe.
“Binilang ko na po yun. Fourteen nautical miles kung diretso, aabot ng 18-21 kilometro kung padadaanin sa limang isla para makarating po dito. Mas mahaba pero mas mura. At bahagi ‘yun ng aming mga programa at plataporma,” said the native of Sorsogon province in a press conference here with Poe on Thursday.
Escudero said that while the islands are connected through the roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) system, the facility was rendered useless during times of calamities like when Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated Central Philippines on November 8, 2013.
“Para wala na ring pong traffic tuwing nagbabagyo. Parang noong nangyari yung ‘Yolanda,’ matagal bago nakarating dito ang tulong at ayuda dahil syempre hindi rin pwedeng maglayag yung mga barge, yung mgaRoRo kapagka bumababagyo. Yan ang hirap saRoRo kapagka may bagyo balewala rin,” he pointed out.
Trucks carrying cargoes to Northern Samar are usually stranded at the port of Matnog during peak season of RoRo service, delaying the delivery of goods to the province.
“Balak talaga naming gawin yung tulay upang sa gayon makonekta ang Visayas sa Luzon. Pati nga po sa Kabisayaan na karamihan ay mga isla, bahagi sa plano namin ni Sen. Grace ay ikonekta ang Iloilo sa Guimaras, Guimaras saNegros at Negros sa Cebu, para sa ganoon ang komersyo ay tuluy-tuloy,” Escudero said.
“Sa Luzon naman ang mahalaga doon ay ang Batangas hanggang Mindoro island. ‘Yun naman po ang aming ikokonekta,” he added, referring to the construction of the “super bridge” project that would connect Mindoro Island to the province of Batangas.
Escudero earlier said the “super bridge” will not only ease the travel from the main island of Luzon to the provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro but will also bring in more tourists and development opportunities for the people of the two provinces.
Last year, the provincial governments of Batangas and Oriental Mindoro received a proposal for the construction of a 15-kilometer long bridge that would surpass the length of the 2.15-km San Juanico Bridge that connects Samar and Leyte provinces.