THE Asia Development Bank (ADB) is already on the design stages of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) of Davao City and it targets to turn it over to the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) board for approval within 12 to 18 months.
ADB Philippines Country Manager Kelly Bird said there is a US$70-million worth of budget loan for transportation modernization in Davao City. The amount will include other technical necessities such as establishment of bus stops, bus terminals to be located in five to six different locations, and lightings.
"We still have a little bit of work to do because when you're modernizing a public transport system, there's a lot of details, a lot of issues to think about. We're going through that now, we're looking at what those bus terminals would look like, what would be the coverage in the city, so that's being done now," said Bird.
He said they are also currently taking into account how specifically the HPBS would affect the community. This is on top of the other technical details being considered by ADB before being approved by Neda.
In an article published September of last year, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the project is targeted to be completed by 2019.
She said the city is open to grant livelihood projects for jeepney drivers.
She is optimistic that the ADB project will pave way to a safer cleaner mass transport system that will require less travel time and less traffic congestion for the riding public.
"I want our drivers to be investors of HPBS, so that they will not be poor and sickly in working according to their financiers for the operators, we invite them to be businessmen. This is what I emphasized to the ADB and transportation committee," Duterte-Carpio said.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on March 10, 2018.
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