PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Thursday, October 27, 2022, that he sees the construction of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector bridge to boost the economic potential of the region and to improve the access of locals to social services.

Marcos along with other government officials, including former Davao City mayor now Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, led the lowering of the time capsule that signaled the start of construction of the bridge, which will connect the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte to Davao City.

“Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as enhance its residents’ access to employment, education, and other social services,” he said.

Marcos expressed his gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China for being an “active member and have always been a dependable partner” in the infrastructure program.

“This bridge is a testament to the strong and ever-growing foundation of the bilateral relations and economic cooperation between us,” he said.

The 3.98-kilometer bridge, which has an estimated cost of P23.04 billion, is expected to be completed by 2027. It will be funded through a loan agreement worth P18.67 billion entered into between the Philippines and China.

It is expected to cut down the usual 50 minutes travel via ferry from Samal to Davao City to just 4.5 minutes.

“In 2027, this bridge will surely ease the convenience of travel and transport, bringing forth gainful opportunities for many of our people by providing a link between far-flung areas and economic centers, thereby ensuring smoother mobility of people and goods,” said Marcos.

During his first State of the Nation Address in July, Marcos vowed to continue and expand the flagship infrastructure program of the Duterte administration. (SunStar Philippines)