THE Davao City bypass project, which is currently financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), is targeted to be completed by 2021, said Jica official.

During the Habi at Kape weekly forum last Wednesday, August 21, Socio-economic Framework Specialist of the City Infrastructure Development Plan and Capacity Building Project Lynn Sison said Jica is currently working with the city government in integrating all infrastructure projects of the city government and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Davao Region.

Sison said with this integration, they are trying to propose actions and recommendations for the gaps that they have identified upon study of these infrastructure projects.

According to Jica project team leader Ken Kumazawa, one of the projects of the city government that Jica is currently financing is the Davao City bypass project with cost that may exceed $100 million.

“I think this project, particularly Jica-financed, has a timeline until 2021 including the (construction of the) longest tunnel in the Philippines (which is) 2.3 kilometers long. Because the road is very acute, therefore, DPWH intends to widen the road... because many subdivision developments are already applying to city hall. Property developers look at this project’s progress,” said Kumazawa.

In previous reports, the first package of the project will cost P14.23 billion which would include the 28.8 kilometer (km) road, the country’s longest tunnel, and the improvement of the 10.2 km two connector roads.

According to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Planning Service Director Constante Llanes, the second package will be locally funded and will cost about P5.577 billion and will include development of another 15.78 km. road.

Llanes said the Davao City bypass project is expected to decrease the travel time as it will offer alternative route for easier road access especially to trucks that only intends to pass through the city. The bypass road connects Toril, Davao City and Panabo City, Davao del Sur.

Sison added they are currently studying seven infrastructure projects from Neda Davao Regional Office. All of these, she said, are going to touch the city including the Mindanao Railway Project.

They are also studying some 21 infrastructure projects presented to them by the local government unit of Davao City. Out of this number, a waste-to-energy incineration project is included although Sison said they are still on the understudy stages and none are yet to be final.