By JUNE S. BLANCO
CIVIL Works on the Bohol-Cebu Friendship Bridge (BCFB) may start in 2020.
This was National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan’s Valentine’s Day gift to Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (Bohol, 2nd District).
During his visit to Tungpalan’s office to follow up on the funding for the bridge, the latter informed him that the project feasibility study (FS) will be funded with a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
He said according to Tungpalan, the FS is slated to start this year – for completion in six to 10 months’ time. If feasible, he added, the bidding may be scheduled in 2019 and the construction – if viable – in 2020.
Aumentado said he is confident that the bridge will be feasible due to the serveral pre-feasibility studies and consultations conducted during the incumbency as governor of his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado.
The BCFB, as his father envisioned, will be a 24-kilometer series of bridges and causeways that will link Getafe in Bohol with Cordova in Cebu. It will have several exits along the way to several islands between the two provinces.
The senior Aumentado had nicknamed the structure and “three-in-one” bridge as it will also carry cables that will bring more electricity from Cebu province to Bohol. At the same time, a pipeline will also straddle it to bring potable water from Bohol to Cebu.
Lately, former Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy also introduced studies conducted by his consultants incorporating a railway component into the bridge. This would bolster the string of endorsements the bridge has so far earned.
The solon said the BCFB has a soft spot in his heart because it recognizes the efforts of his father. The elder Aumentado has had the project endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC), the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by the Regional Development Council (RDC).
The study will comprise of pre-engineering work, to be the basis for the preparation of the detailed engineering design (DED).
“I will set\e to it that this dream of my father will see fruition,” the son vowed.
At the same time, he expressed gratitude to Tungpalan, President Rodrigo Duterte, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco and NEDA Secretary General Ernesto Pernia for their support.