SMC to submit P3-billion Caticlan-Boracay bridge proposal

CONGLOMERATE San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it will submit on July 11 its unsolicited proposal to the government for the P3-billion bridge connecting Boracay Island to nearby Caticlan.

San Miguel President and COO Ramon S. Ang said the bridge will help decongest and clean up Boracay, as well as increase the supply of fresh water and electricity to the resort island.

The gap between the two islands is 1.1 kilometers, but Ang said the entire project will span about 1.9 kilometers.

“The bridge will be made of concrete and be high enough so that ships can pass below it,” he said at the sidelines of the stockholders meeting of Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., a company that owns a significant chunk of the conglomerate.

If approved by the government, Ang said San Miguel can complete the construction of the bridge in two years, adding it will take about 12 years to 15 years for the company to recoup the investment.

It intends to generate revenues from the toll fees that will be charged both vehicles and pedestrians, as well as access fees it will charge utilities, such as sewage pipes, water pipes, power lines and telecommunications lines.

“The bridge will help alleviate the congestion in Boracay and reduce pressure on its limited resources,” Ang said.

He explained there will be supply of fresh water from Caticlan and will mean that resorts and residents no longer need to use deep wells to tap groundwater.

He said it will also be easier to keep Boracay clean by pumping out sewage to Caticlan while trucks can haul away solid waste that amount to as much as 170 tons per day.

Ang said pressure on the island’s resources will also be eased since some or most of Boracay’s 25,000 workers and their families can choose to relocate to Caticlan where cost of living is lower and just cross the bridge to their jobs in the resorts.

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