THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Davao Region and the Japan International Corporation (Jica) has partnered for a one-year infrastructure development project in Davao City.

The project, which is also in partnership with the local government unit of Davao City, has been created to develop an urban infrastructure development plan for the city following the Kitakyushi City model.

Focus of this urban infrastructure development plan is on the urban transportation system, water supply, solid waste management with the short-term target year of 2022 and the long-term target year of 2045. Both the planning and implementation will already be included in the target schedule.

Among the priority projects of the said partnership are the Davao City Bypass Construction, Coastal Bypass Road, Public Transport Modernization, Mindanao Railway Project that would connect Tagum to Davao and Davao to Digos, Sasa Port Modernization, development, operations, and maintenance of Davao Airport, and the Davao-Samal Bridge Project among others.

The project also seeks to update the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Davao City.

“We need to revisit our zoning or city land use plan. The city mayor would like for us to spread out the developmental [project] here in the central business district of the city. The mayor has plans to hopefully come up with agri-tourism, tourism-related businesses even in the second or third district. The mayor would also like to enable the city to come up with an effective mass transportation system in the near future. The third one is the solid waste management. We do have problems with proper waste segregation. Most of us Dabawenyos are guilty of that,” Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo said.

He said they will meet with the official representatives of Kitakyushi City within the week to discuss proper solutions that can be utilized to help with the solid waste management problem of Davao City.

Domingo said within three to four years our local landfill will already be filled up.

Neda director and chair of the Project Implementation Committee Maria Lourdes Lim said a railway proposal by Korean investors were submitted to the City Government last year but was returned to the proponents as there were financing details that needed to be revised and clarified.

Currently, the city is still waiting for the said revision and for other interested investors’ formal proposal.

“We have an annual budget process, national government and the local government. If the project is prioritized, then they can get committed funding for a certain year. Every year, we do this. We review the proposals of national government agencies and the local government units can also propose and this will be part of the annual budgets, both of the national and the local governments,” said Lim when asked where the budget of the project will be coming from.

She also added specific projects like the coastal road implementation might possibly start within 2017, if not, next year. Moreover, Lim also stressed that they have closely coordinated with representatives of Jica to consider projects that are climate-change proof and to use green technologies.

The objective of this planning project is also to increase the gross regional domestic product of the entire Davao Region from eight to nine percent to reach at least 11 percent within the 2022 short-term target year of the project.

As what Domingo said, whatever project that will be implemented in the city as a product of the partnership will ripple its positive economic effect to other provinces in the region as well.

Jica Philippines Project Team Leader Ken Kumazawa also clarified implementation after all the feasibility studies and planning conducted will be open to other foreign investors as well and will not be exclusive for Japan investors only.