The San Juanico Bridge linking Leyte and Samar provinces. (Wikicommons Photo)

A technical working group (TWG) has been formed by the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) to accomplish a tourism development plan for San Juanico Strait.

“The TWG, chaired by Department of Tourism (DOT), leads the planning and implementation of a tourism master development plan of the San Juanico Strait,” said DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes.

The San Juanico Strait Development Project is envisioned to have three components — the San Juanico aesthetic lighting project, Tacloban City tourism facilities for San Juanico, and the Sta. Rita tourism development project.

The biggest project is the P80-million lighting phase that will start on July 26, with completion expected by year-end.

A 10-minute water-light-laser show, to be shown six times nightly, is being proposed to attract tourists.

Tiopes said: “They wanted the TWG to come up with a framework on how this area should be properly developed taking into consideration several aspects such as infrastructure development, environmental protection, and even local legislation.”

Other aspects of the project that the TWG needs to look into are infrastructure development, business development and investment generation, socio-cultural issues, legislative measures, safety and security, information and advocacy, and environmental protocols.

The San Juanico Bridge, which stretches 2.162 kilometers and connects the Samar and Leyte Islands, was completed in December 1972 over the San Juanico Strait, the narrowest navigational strait in the world. (Jojo Mangahis)