By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — In the aftermath of the August 3 sea tragedy that killed 31 people, Senator Franklin Drilon is urging San Miguel Corp. (SMC) to build the long proposed Iloilo-Guimaras bridge.
Drilon appealed to SMC President Ramon S. Ang to submit an unsolicited proposal for the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge project during the recent groundbreaking for a new beer factory of San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) in neighboring Leganes town.
In response, Ang said SMC will look into Drilon’s proposal. But contrary to earlier reports, Ang never categorically said SMC will submit an unsolicited proposal.
If it pushes through, it will be SMC’s second bridge project proposal in Western Visayas region. It also proposed to build a bridge that will link world-famous Boracay Island to mainland Malay town in Aklan province.
The Ilonggo senator emphasized last month it was high time to build the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge, which has been in the drawing board for the past 50 years.
For Drilon, safety must be prioritized over the proposed project’s high cost-benefit ratio. Without a bridge, wooden-hulled boats known as motor bancas or pump boats still transport people and goods along the treacherous Iloilo Strait.
The initial Panay-Guimaras-Negros bridges will start in Leganes town, Iloilo province and will connect to San Lorenzo town, Guimaras province. It will end at Pulupandan town, Negros Occidental province.