DPWH launches the construction of 2 bridges connecting the Tawi-Tawi islands

After years of planning and preparation, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has officially started the construction of two (2) bridges aimed at providing a direct route between the existing major growth center of Bongao, Tawi Province -Tawi with Sanga- Sanga Island and future growth center at Panglima Sugala.

DPWH Acting Secretary Roger G. Mercado with Tawi-Tawi Governor Yshmael L. Sali, Build Build Undersecretary and Chief Implementation Officer Emil K. Sadain, and Director’s Representative Asian Development Bank (AfDB) country, Alain X. Morel, conducted on Friday, June 3, 2022, the groundbreaking ceremony at the Provincial Capitol for the two (2) years of construction of the Nalil-Sikkiat Bridge on the Bongao channel and from the Malassa-Lupa Pula bridge over the Manalik channel to the mainland island Tawi-Tawi.

The two (2) bridges costing ₱2.14 billion which aim to decongest Bongao, the capital city of Tawi Tawi, by promoting the development of the mainland through better connectivity between the islands/municipalities of the province are part of growth corridors financed by the AfDB. in the Mindanao Road Sector Project.

“The team of Undersecretary Sadain and Project Manager Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim has been working very hard on these projects for years, starting from conducting feasibility studies, loan agreement, detailed engineering design and procurement for the contractor and the civil works consultant,” Acting Secretary Mercado said.

Others present at the inauguration of the project are Mindanao Undersecretary for Operations Eugenio R. Pipo Jr.; Assistant Secretaries Ador G. Canlas, Antonio V. Molano Jr., Wilfredo S. Mallari, Mel John I. Verzosa, and Rolito D. Manalo; DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Roads Management Cluster 2 (Multilateral) Project Manager Hasim; Region 9 Director Cayamombao D. Dia; Construction Office OIC-Director Aristarco M. Doroy; OIC Design Office-Director Edwin C. Matanguihan; Najib D. Dilangalen, OIC Project Manager; Project Managers Soledad Florecio and Emmanuel Supe; and other public works and local government officials.

With less than a month to go until President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends, the DPWH is committed to advancing the implementation of high-impact infrastructure landmark projects under the Build Build Build program that will bring benefits term to the Filipino people in the campaign, said Undersecretary Sadain.

According to Undersecretary Sadain, the construction of the Nalil-Sikkiat and Malassa-Lupa Pula bridges, including the proposed Tongsinah Paniongan Bridge on the Sanga-Sanga Canal linking to Papahag Island at the supply stage of the DPWH and also part of the Growth Corridor Improvement Project in the Mindanao Road Sector unlocking potential in the tourism and fishing industry for Tawi-Tawi.

There is also a port development project which is Malassa International Port due to the economic potential of the island province as it is in the path of international shipping containers, added Under Secretary Sadain, in charge of DPWH UPMO Operations .

DPWH Project Manager Hasim said the 541m Nalil-Sikkiat Bridge, 681m Malassa-Lupa Pula Bridge and 569m Tongsinah-Paniongan Bridge were the product of years of research and consultation undertaken .

DPWH Construction of the Tawi-Tawi Islands Bridges

Undersecretary Sadain revealed that the bridges were among the infrastructure projects long recommended to the DPWH and the President’s office by Tawi Congressman Tawi Rashidin H. Matba to stimulate economic activities that would boost the economy of Tawi-Tawi and would further improve the quality of life of its people.

Located in the autonomous region of Bangsamoro in Muslim Mindanao occupying the southwestern part of the Sulu Archipelago and considered the largest seaweed-producing province in the Philippines, Tawi-Tawi is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. . It remains uncharted territory for many due to its geographical location in the far south of the country.

With the construction of new bridges, local and foreign tourists will soon be able to see the wonders of the island province – the pristine beaches, historical and religious sites, shrines and marine biodiversity.

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Isabel M. Bourgeois