The “aesthetic lighting” of San Juanico Bridge in the central Philippines is expected to bring progress to the provinces of Samar and Leyte.
“I look forward to the economic opportunities that will be simulated by this as well as other Spark Samar initiatives in the near future,” said Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, during the inauguration of the project.
The president expressed hope that the switching on of the PhP80-million San Juanico Bridge Aesthetic Light and Sound Show Project will bring “complete recovery of the tourism industry in the Eastern Visayas and nearby areas.”
Poverty incidence in the Eastern Visayas region in the first semester of 2021 was estimated at 36.0 percent.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said the number implies that in the first semester of 2021, at least 36 in every 100 individuals in the region belong to the poor population whose incomes were not sufficient to buy their minimum basic food and non-food needs.
In a speech, Marcos anticipated that the lights of the bridge “also signal our resolve to make our islands even more connected, by filling its gaps with displays of ingenuity, creativity, and openness, so that progress may move freely among us.”
“The joint efforts of both the government and non-government entities of this endeavor are commendable,” he said.
In 2015, Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan and the Department of Tourism in Region 8 proposed the project to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority.
The project was part of Tan’s peace and prosperity tourism campaign dubbed “Spark Samar.”
“Our purpose here is to attract our national leaders to visit us — Samar and Leyte — as far as tourism is concerned,” said Tan, adding that more tourists would “pave way for additional livelihood, particularly in the province of Samar.”
The provincial government of Samar said in a statement that “beyond the program’s pursuits of increasing tourism efforts, it also aims to mitigate the ashen premise of poverty, conflict, and disaster familiar to the province.”
With a distance of 2.16 kilometers, San Juanico Bridge used to be the longest bridge along the Pan-American Highway connecting Samar and Leyte.
In April 2022, the 8.9 km Cebu-Cordova Bridge dethroned the San Juanico Bridge’s record as the longest bridge in the Philippines.
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