DPWH-6 explores possibility of tunneling in Antique ‘killer curve’

Proposed route that will replace the so-called killer curve in Hamtic, Antique. (Illustration from Antique PIO)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In the wake of the Ceres Bus incident that claimed the lives of 19 individuals, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Region 6 is open to proposals to rectify the engineering design of the Iloilo-Antique Road.

And one of the proposals being considered is “tunneling” in Barangay Igbucagay and the roads leading to it.

Right after the incident on Dec. 5, the DPWH-6’s Planning and Design Division converged to discuss the possibility of coming up with a feasibility study of road tunneling.

Road tunnels or vehicular tunnels are defined as enclosed roadways through ground, sea or mountains with vehicle access restricted through portals or tunnel ends, independent of structure type, method of construction or the crossing medium.

Engr. Sanny Boy Oropel, DPWH-6 regional director, said they’re now asking the DPWH Central Office to provide them with some funds for the feasibility study of the tunneling program in order for the regional office to straighten or to improve the alignment of the mountainous section in the area.

And the estimated cost of the feasibility study?

“It’s around P50 to P100 million because it will cover all throughout the road section going to the Iloilo-Antique Road,” Oropel said.

He explained that the cost of the feasibility study would still depend on the length of the road network since many tests would be conducted.

Oropel said they should also consider the appreciation of the road right of way.

Meanwhile, Oropel pointed out that while there are some accidents that happened in that specific road section, the DPWH had provided all the amenities for the national roads to have a safer, comfortable travel for all commuters.

“We have provided road markings and rumble strips before the rolling terrain and we have also widened the road section into four lanes with corresponding concrete sidewalks and shoulders,” he said.

Oropel said they have also provided a facility for all the drivers and commuters to have a clearer view of the sharp curve ahead.

Solar streetlights were also installed for easy visibility, he added.

“And aside from that, we have some concrete barriers constructed along that road section but unfortunately accidents happen,” he said.

But considering the number of traffic passing that road section and the number of accidents that have occurred, Oropel said it’s “very, very minimal.”


Gov. Rhodora Cadiao of Antique has considered the road section at Igbucagay a killer curve after several road mishaps have been recorded in the past years.

“It’s an S curve. We asked the DPWH if something could be done about that curve,” she said.

The governor also cited several road projects wherein signages and warning signs have been taken out but were not returned.

“Before there were arrow signs for motorists to be made aware of the curve. There were signages like check your brakes and caution, but I haven’t seen them anymore,” she said.

Cadiao said that she will again discuss with concerned agencies what to do with the area since they don’t want the same thing to happen again.