Gov't wants China-funded bridges completed by 2021

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2018 01:01 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2019 04:00 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte leads the time-capsule ceremony during the groundbreaking program for the 2 China Bridges project held in Intramuros, Manila, Tuesday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Public Works and Highways on Wednesday said it wants to finish construction of 2 China-funded bridges across Pasig River within 30 months or by year 2021.

China allotted P5.4 billion for the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge that will connect the historic Manila districts of Binondo and Intramuros, as well as the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge that will replace the existing bridge connecting Estrella Street in Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong.

The 2 bridges, which broke ground on Tuesday, will be built by a Chinese contractor under DPWH supervision, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.

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The 734-meter Binondo-Intramuros Bridge will feature a steel arch symbolizing friendship between Manila and Beijing, he said.

The Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, meanwhile, will have 4 lanes and a pedestrian walkway.

"Magiging world-class itong 2 proyekto," Villar said.

(These 2 projects will be world-class.)

Under Duterte, the Philippines has warmed up to China despite the latter’s aggressive activities in the disputed South China Sea.

The President prefers dealing with China instead of the Philippines’ traditional ally, the United States, and has looked to the Asian giant for funding of various infrastructure and military programs.

Some 130 bridges were built in the first 2 years of the Duterte administration, said Villar.