DAVAO CITY Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang proposed Monday a total review of the controversial P18-billion Sasa port modernization project presented by the Benigno Aquino III administration as public-private partnership (PPP).
Dayanghirang led the Davao City Council in approving a resolution opposing the project pursued by the Department of Transportation and Communication and the PPP Center under Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya for failure of the national government to consult the local government and other stakeholders.
“Maybe we can integrate the project with the Mega Harbour development,” the councilor said, referring to the mixed-use property development involving the reclamation of hundreds of hectares along the coastal areas in barangays from Agdao to the mouth of the Davao River in Matina.
The project has been discussed and approved by the outgoing city council which has passed a resolution authorizing outgoing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to sign a memorandum of agreement with the firm that will be tasked to develop the mega harbor.
“We can no longer expand the Sasa port area as proposed by Abaya because of its natural space limitation,” Dayanghirang said, adding that it is too small for an international seaport.
Investing on its modernization is useless, he said.
“Since there is a port component in the mega harbor, why don’t we explore it integration, Dayanghirang said.
He said the harbor project will likewise solve the congestion in the ferryboats services the Davao City-Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) sea route wherein passengers endure the long queues especially during weekends.
The problems confronting the Sasa port modernization project include a pending petition for the issues of a Write of Kalikasan asking the Supreme Court to stop the project for several alleged violations of law.
The petitioners are led by no less than lawyer Harry Roque of the University of the Philippines. The highest tribunal has still to act on the petition.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 21, 2016.
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