THE Panguil Bay Bridge Project, to be financed through official development assistance from South Korea, broke ground yesterday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez announced. The project, with an original budget of P4.9 billion, is a 3.48-kilometer, two lane bridge that will connect the city of Tangub in Misamis Occidental to the town of Tubod, the capital of Lanao del Norte. It is intended to cut travel time between Tangub City and Tubod to seven minutes from the current 2.5 hours. It will also shorten trips from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan to Tangub as well as the Zamboanga Peninsula Region. The $100.13-million loan for the project was obtained from the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) in 2016. It is under a loan agreement with the Korean Economic Development Cooperation Fund. “The package of infrastructure projects in this area (Mindanao) includes irrigation systems, extensive road networks, construction and rehabilitation of key regional airports, long-span bridges and the Mindanao Railway project that will help dramatically enhance regional connectivity, reduce the cost of moving goods and people across long distances and spur economic activity for this part of the country,” Mr. Dominguez said during the Sulong sa Pilipinas-Philippine Development Forum in Davao City on Nov. 28. Once completed, the Panguil Bridge will be the country’s longest, beating the current one, the 2.2-kilometer San Juanico Bridge that connects the islands of Samar and Leyte.