Korean engineers recently made a presentation on the Feasibility Study for the proposed Maasin Coastal Bypass Bridge Construction during the Public Consultation at Villa Romana Hotel in Maaasin City.
The proposed project is a partnership between the consulting agency Schema Konsult Inc., Sambo Engineering, Seo.Young, and the Department of Public Works and Highways. It was said to improve logistics and human mobility, prevent traffic congestion and provide economic vitality. The construction of the 1.7 km bridge has an estimated cost of 165 million US dollars or 9 billion pesos, said Sambo-Seoyoung Engineer JV Moung Gyun Park.
The said project was endorsed during the term of former DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado as part of the development of Southern Leyte and other provinces.
Engineer Erlynrose Mari Nazareno and Mari Cris Samson-Utod of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) made an overview of the project and emphasized the importance of public consultation, topographic survey, coastal and maritime survey, geotechnical investigation, traffic, environment and social survey, cost estimation and unit cost analysis of the project.
In support of the project, Maasin City Mayor Nacional Verano Mercado said, “We are very happy that it is slowly being materialized. This is one of the considered flagship projects… ug makahatag ug benipisyo sa atong syudad sa Maasin ug sa probinsya sa Southern Leyte.”
“The Maasin City government will continue to collaborate with the DPWH to complete this infrastructure flagship project, and we look forward to building more new pipeline projects to sustain rapid growth, attract investments, and achieve economic inclusion for all. Padajon ta sa pag-ajonay,” Mercado said further.
“East Bypass Road, West Bypass Road will be connected by the proposed Maasin City Bypass Bridge,” a DPWH representative said during the open forum.
Southern Leyte Times interviewed some of the locals in Combado and other neighboring towns.
A college student from the College of Maasin and a resident of barangay Tunga-Tunga, Maasin City when asked said, “Kung para sa future, yes, it might be a big help kay wa ta kahibaw basin sa future managhan na ang motorist or mga sakyanan diri sa Maasin. But in practical thinking, di unta need something ingna na project labi na ron nga daghang naglisod nga tawo, e allocate nalaman unta ang fund for them.” (If it’s for the future, yes it might be a big help because we don’t know that in the future motorists or cars will reinforce in the city. But in practical thinking, we don’t need that project because so many people starve and are poor, they should allocate the budget for them.
Meanwhile, according to a government media employee, “I believe that it is beneficial for the overall economic development of the city, with enough safeguards for the environment”
Local executives from Tagnipa, Mambajao, Mantahan, and Abgao also agreed and supported the said proposed project.
In another conversation, Maasin City Engineer Michael Esparcia said that Maasin City cannot guarantee that Maasin can fund new infrastructure this year, “For now, we prioritize reconstructing buildings hit during the typhoon Odette.”
Also in attendance were Governor Damian G. Mercado, Vice-Governor Rosa Emilia G. Mercado, Mr. Ming Gyun Park – Project Manager, Sambo-Seoyoung- Engineering Joint Venture, Mr. Vitalino Sabalo, Jr. – SKI President & CEO, Commander Romeo Pulido, Jr. – Coast Guard District Eastern Visayas, Engr. Maria Eugenia Karisma Oarde- Team Leader, Engr. John Lemuel Pica- DPWH Regional Office Representative, Engr. Verben Siega- DPWH Southern Leyte, and Coast Guard officers.