Fact check: Grace Poe on the 3rd Mactan bridge
CEBU CITY, Philippines – While it may be a fact that Cebu needs a third bridge, it will happen regardless of who wins the presidential election – because the project is already in the pipeline.
During the closing statements of the Cebu leg of the 2016 presidential debates, Grace Poe addressed Cebuano voters and said: "Kailangan magkaroon ng Mactan bridge, circumferential road, dagdagan ang dams dito." (We must build the Mactan bridge, circumferential road, and have more dams here.)
She mentioned the need to build marine sanctuaries, provide jobs, and improve water services. The Mactan bridge is meant to alleviate the worsening traffic situation in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue cities.
During a post-debate analysis with Rappler and Sun.Star, the publication's editor-in-chief Sol Amante said that plans for a third bridge – the Cebu-Cordova Bridge – have already been approved.
"It [the bridge project] is ongoing already," Amante said. "It was a campaign issue in the 2010 elections."
"The municipality of Cordova and the Cebu City are pursuing a PPP (public-private partnership) with the [Manny] Pangilinan group," Amante added.
They are aiming to secure permits by the end of the year and the construction could start by 2017 or 2018.
Grace Poe has visited Cebu on several occasions and normally focuses her attention on local issues when engaging in dialogues with her visits to various sectors. She has also courted support from the province's powerful political families and alliances.
According to a Sun.Star Cebu report, the deal was inked in January with the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Group (MPTDC) and will cost around P27 billion to construct.
The bridge is something that she always mentions on the last couple of sorties she's held in Cebu since last August 2015, but was probably not aware that the plans had already been finalized last January. – Rappler.com
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