THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), on Friday, November 29, approved two Davao City major projects: the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) and the Davao-Samal Bridge.
In a statement, Neda-ICC approved a total of seven new projects amounting to P187.34 billion, which include three projects from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), three projects from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and one to be implemented by the Department of Health (DOH).
Neda-ICC granted P18.66 billion for the implementation of the HPBS. The project involves the delivery of a modern bus system (HPBS) for Davao City, wherein interconnected bus services will be prioritized along the 137 kilometers (kms) core network and feeder routes composed of 489 kms.
The HPBS will have five proposed routes, namely, Catalunan Grande to Ma-a via Diversion Road; second route - from Mintal to Bangkal drop-off point, to SM City Davao along Quimpo Boulevard drop-off point, to San Pedro Street drop-off point, to Bankerohan drop-off point, to Matina drop-off point, and then back to Mintal; third route - from Cabantian to Buhangin and to Agdao via Cabaguio; fourth route - from Ma-a to Buhangin via Diversion Road; and fifth route - from Toril to Ulas drop-off point, to Matina Crossing drop-off point, to Matina Aplaya drop-off point, to SM City Davao drop-off point, to Matina Crossing drop-off point, and then back to Toril.
The agency’s ICC said the proposed implementation schedule for the construction is 2020 to 2023.
Davao City Mayor Sara Dutere-Carpio, during her State of the City Address (Soca) speech in October this year, had urged Neda and the Department of Finance (DOF) to financially assist them in the project.
Dutere-Carpio said they had already submitted the necessary documents to the agency for them to be able to receive the grant. She, however, did not elaborate when they submitted these documents.
The city council had already approved a P100-milllion fund under 2019 Supplemental Budget 1 for the first stage of the HPBS. This will include the financial assistance to recompense more than 7,000 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) operators and drivers, which will be replaced with more or less 1,000 buses.
The mayor also said that she was also able to secure P650 million for the compensation and various training, which include education and livelihood, to the affected drivers and operators from former president and former House speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Meanwhile, Neda also granted P23.04 billion for the implementation of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project, which aims to provide a permanent road linkage between Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) resulting in the reduction of travel time and reliability constraints currently experienced through the use of ferry services.
Neda said the project involves the construction of a toll-free four-lane [two-lane each direction] bridge with an approximate length of 2.80 kms, a width of 24.2 meters, and a vertical clearance of 45 meters that can serve around 25,000 vehicles a day.
They also said the project will also include the construction of interchanges with the existing road network, local existing junction improvements, viaducts over sections of land and approach bridges over marine area.
“The project shall be implemented from 2020-2024, with construction period scheduled from 2021-2024. Operation will be from 2025 onwards,” Neda said in a press statement.
Other Neda Board-approved projects include the Unsolicited Proposal for the New Bohol Panglao International Airport, to be implemented by DOTr; Unsolicited Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Proposal: Ninoy Aquino International Airport, to be implemented by DOTr; Pasacao-Balatan Coastal Tourism Highway, to be implemented by DPWH; Camarines Sur High-Speed Highway, to be implemented by DPWH; and Development Objective Assistance Agreement (DOAg): Improved Health for Underserved Filipinos, to be implemented by DOH.
“This shows that the administration is committed to develop growth centers in the regions and maximize the economic benefits of connectivity of communities,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.