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Fort Boni tunnel to generate more funds for nat’l coffer

Written by  Ed Velasco
Thursday, 03 January 2013 00:00 [ tribune.net.ph ]
Huge additional revenues are expected to go into the coffers of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) once it starts charging tourists  entering the Fort Bonifacio tunnel.
Dean Santiago, BCDA vice president for business development, said the tunnel is now being readied for the influx of thousands of tourists.
The tunnel is 20 feet below the ground and is approximately 2.5 kilometers long. Its main entrance is located near Market! Market! while its only remaining exit is located near Pasig River in Guadalupe bridge.
“It is one of the very few tunnels found more than 65 years after the war ended.  If Vietnam was able to maximize its tunnels, why can’t we?” Santiago asked The Daily Tribune in an exclusive interview. 
He said in Vietnam, many tunnels found in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) are the country’s biggest income generators.
He said Vietnam has so many burrows due to almost three decades of war against France and United States. It first defeated France in 1954. Twenty-one years later, it beat US to become the first country in the world to brutally expel two colonial masters.             
The official said the burrow at Fort Bonifacio used to have six or seven entrances/exits but only two can be located at present.
“We even called a military historian but we really can’t locate the other entrance and exit points,” Santiago said.
He said the tunnel is quite big, approximately 4 by 4 meters. However, many parts of it were unfinished as it was excavated before the Fall of Bataan in 1942.
After the Fall of Bataan, many Filipino and American soldiers were captured, including those in-charge of digging the burrow.  
“That is why its most prominent exit is near Pasig River to assure that armaments will reach Filipino and American soldiers in Fort Bonifacio,” the official explained.
Santiago said even the cost of the charge on tourists  has not been formalized as everything about the tunnel is just on the beginning stage.
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