Future of Iloilo flyovers still unclear, DPWH-6 says

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Region 6 described the fates of the controversial Ungka and Aganan flyovers as “uncertain” as of this time.

DPWH-6 Assistant Regional Director Jose Al Fruto gave the update, or the lack of it, to the Regional Development Council-Western Visayas (RDC-WV) Infrastructure Development Committee’s regular meeting on Monday.

But to provide a “high note” on the matter, Fruto reported that there have been minimal to zero movements on the three sinking piers or foundations of the ₱680-million Ungka Flyover since contractor International Builders Corp (IBC) voluntarily applied jet grouting.

Jet grouting, or injection of cement-like substance underneath the soil, began around October 2022 to stop the further settling of Piers 4, 5, and 6. It was finished in the latter part of December 2022.

“After we started monitoring in late January until now so far, [the three piers are almost stable]. The purpose of [jet grouting] is to address immediately the further settling [of the structure],” Fruto explained.

As to the 13 other piers, he confirmed that there is still displacement based on their monitoring, which would warrant an urgent application of final recommendations to be made by the third-party consultant DPWH hired earlier this year.

But as to the final recommendations by the consultant, Pasig City-based Abinales Associates Engineers + Consultants, Fruto said these were directly forwarded to DPWH Secretary Manuel Bonoan upon submission, thus the regional office never had the chance to see it.

This meant that the finalized output by the consultancy firm, which includes the findings, recommendations, timeline of rectification works, and estimated costs, among others, are unknown to DPWH-6.

“We cannot pre-empt the actions of the secretary [Bonoan], that’s why the full disclosure will be coming from the office of the secretary himself, and that is what we have all been waiting for. Hopefully, it will not really be that long, the decisions that will be taken, so we can start fixing or correcting deficiencies in the Ungka [flyover],” Fruto said.


Fruto likewise hinted that the nearby Aganan flyover, where construction works have been suspended for several months, may share the same fate as its “sister” flyover in Ungka.

He said that the regional office had started reaching out to the Bureau of Design to review how to move forward with the ₱560-million flyover in Pavia town.

The Aganan flyover was scheduled to be opened between the third to fourth quarter of 2023, but work stoppage would certainly delay its completion and opening.

“There aren’t noticeable defects or deficiencies in the Aganan [flyover], but because of the prevailing circumstances imputed to (sic) Ungka, we will treat it as just the same. Something has to be done,” Fruto said.

“If there’s a possibility of again engaging a third-party [consultant] and [the] propriety [of the] work, and just in case it is proper, where to procure, the [DPWH] central office through the Bureau of Design or the regional office,” he added.

Despite these developments, two other DPWH-6 projects in the Metro Iloilo area – the Buhang and Hibao-an Flyovers – remain to be on the green, with the former opened a few months ago, and the latter on track to open by end-2023.

There are enough funds to complete the Hibao-an Flyover, according to Fruto, and would be passable in 2023, but some funds would still be needed to complete some at-grade requirements.


Fruto also gave updates on the intra-island Panay-Guimaras Negros (PGN) Bridge which was in the spotlight again in the State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last July 24.

The latest update given to the regional office was that the Notice to Proceed or the ‘green light’ for the winning contractor to start the project, was scheduled to be awarded on July 25, but no further information had been given so far.

DPWH central office, which heads the project, had been reviewing the financial proposal submitted by Yooshin Engineering Consultants, a South Korean company that leads a consortium of four other South Korean firms bidding for the PGN bridge.

Fruto said that nothing is assured yet, except for the ₱2.7-billion loan from the Korean Export-Import (KEXIM) Bank.

While he reiterated the scheduled start of civil works in 2025, he told the committee that the target completion of the bridge would be in 2030.

He also reaffirmed that Section A of the bridge (Iloilo to Guimaras) will start at Bigke village in Leganes, Iloilo, and will end in Buenavista, Guimaras.

Section B (Guimaras to Negros), meanwhile, will start at M. Chavez village in San Lorenzo and end at Pulupandan.

The reaffirmation of Pulupandan as the endpoint of the bridge in Negros Island comes despite House Resolution No. 207, which encouraged the DPWH to instead consider the town of Valladolid.