Government officials officially begun the construction of the long-awaited San Juanico bridge aesthetic lighting project in a groundbreaking ceremony on July 26, 2019.

Samar 2nd District Rep. Sharee Ann Tan hopes that this project will be beneficial for both Samar and Leyte islands, calling San Juanico Bridge “not only a bridge of love but also the bridge of prosperity.” She explained why she pushed for the project, expressing her desire for a tourism project that will put Samar on the map highlighting that “San Juanico will create national interest.”

Installation of the lights is expected to be finished in six months. Amando Zamora, CEO of Amigo Entertainment Technologies, Inc., explained that the project will use light emitting diode or LED technology that will illuminate the bridge like a “diamond in the sea”. The lights will be in the default position for 45 minutes per hour with a 15-minute light show six times every night. It will also change color depending on the season or occasion like red for Valentine’s Day, purple for lent, or red and green during the Christmas season.

The P80-million project is funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). In his message, TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas underscored the importance of the project for the agency calling it “a flagship project of TIEZA for national development.”

In addition to the bridge lighting project, TIEZA also approved the construction of a nine-meter baywalk, which will include a viewing space, an area for kiosks, and a three-meter access road.

The lighting of the bridge is part of the province’s Spark Samar campaign to boost local sustainable tourism in the province.

The project has long been pushed for by the Regional Development Council (RDC) VIII. The council passed RDC VIII Resolution No. 31, s. 2018 that created a Technical Working Group (TWG) to facilitate tourism development in the San Juanico strait including the promotion of the San Juanico bridge aesthetic lighting project.

Article and Photos by: Knulp Aseo, NEDA VIII