TACLOBAN CITY, June 25 (PIA ) -- The San Juanico Bridge Aesthetic Lighting Project of the province of Samar, through the Department of Tourism (DOT) 8 and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), is set to start this June.
This was learned during the Tourism Development Technical Working Group meeting held recently at the Hotel Lorenza, this city.
This is after the election ban has been lifted, the only reason why the issuance of the Notice to Proceed has not been issued to the winning contractor, the Amigo Entertainment Technologies, Incorporated.
DOT-8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said the P80 million project will not only boost the tourism industry but will likewise promote job and livelihood opportunities which will result to an improved economic situation not only in Samar but in the whole Eastern Visayas region as well.
In an interview with the TIEZA Electrical Engineer, Angelito Roque, he said the project has two types of lights -- the static and dynamic.
"The static lightings will operate nightly for eight to nine hours to start at 7 p.m. while the dynamic lightings known as dancing lights will only be seen every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of one hour per night, played every 15 minutes," he said adding that no car will be allowed to pass while dynamic lightings are going on, and the music will be dependent on the current event or season.
Roque also said, "The project which has a similar concept as that of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is funded by the TIEZA, the implementing arm of DOT, of which funds comes from the collections of travel taxes."
However, he disclosed that the electric consumption will be paid by the provincial government of Samar as its counterpart, with an estimated cost of more than P3 million per year for both types of lightings.
Proposed by the provincial government of Samar, through Governor Sharie Ann Tan, the project has been awarded last March 19, 2019 and is expected to be finished within 180 days or six months.
Along with the San Juanico Lighting project, an additional P97-M has been requested by the Samar LGU for the construction of a nine-meter baywalk, to consist of a three-meter viewing side, three-meter access road and another three meters for restaurants and kiosks to be rented by some investors.
The project has also been granted by TIEZA and is set to follow after completion of necessary requirements.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Infrastructure Development Technical Working Group chaired by the DOT director is set to develop a framework for the total tourism development of the San Juanico Strait, which will address some gaps to include traffic and waste management, safety, resiliency and security, so as to avoid untoward incidents.
The San Juanico Bridge is one of the longest bridges in Asia with a length of 2.2 km.
It is part of the Maharlika Highway that connects Samar and Leyte and is being considered as one of the tourist attractions in the region. (LDL/GTT/PIA-8, Leyte)