DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio supported her father's statement of putting Davao City in the least priority when it comes to infrastructure projects.
Duterte-Carpio shared photos in her Facebook post on Tuesday, July 27, watching her father delivering his last State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 26 from Davao City Hall.
In her post, she said one of the things she remembered was when the President said that he will prioritize the entire country, and that Davao City will be least prioritized.
"With all due respect sa mga Dabawenyos, sang-ayon ako doon, para mas lalong mabigyan ang wala pa, at matutukan ang prayoridad ng mas nangangailangan (to Dabawenyos, I agree with that to give more to areas which still don’t have and focus more on the priorities of those which needed [projects])," Duterte-Carpio said.
Duterte said the city will be the least priority in the big-ticket projects in infrastructure and transport modernization in the country.
"Why is Davao last? Sinabi ko sa kanila, unahin niyo ang buong Pilipinas. (I told them to prioritize the entire Philippines [except Davao City.]) During the initial years of my presidency, I told economic managers, DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways], pati (including) DOTr [Department of Transportation]: unahin ninyo ang Luzon at ibang areas sa Mindanao. Sinadya ko talaga na ipanghuli ang (prioritize Luzon and some areas in Mindanao. I intentionally least prioritized) Davao [City]," Duterte said in his speech at the Batasang Pambansa.
Duterte, a Davao City mayor for 20 years before he rose to presidency in 2016, told Dabawenyos to understand his decision.
He said, however, that the Davao City Coastal Road Project will be completed by 2023.
Meanwhile, the only immediate family members who physically witnessed Duterte's final Sona are his son, House Deputy Speaker and First District Representative Paolo Duterte, and common-law wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña.
Duterte-Carpio already said she and her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman will not attend the Sona. She did not give any reason behind her decision to miss the event.
Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian "Baste" Duterte did not attend the Sona as he is still recovering from Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Mindanao Cluster Project Implementation Eymard Eje said in a radio interview on Tuesday morning, July 27, that the President's statement means that when it comes to expediting big ticket projects, everyone can benefit, regardless of location.
“Ang aking interpretation doon sa sinabi ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, para hindi maisip ng ibang kababayan na porket taga-Davao [City] si Presidente, unahin ang Davao,” Eje said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
He also said that there is no "political motive" in infrastructure projects.
Despite being a "least priority," Davao City has never been disregarded in terms of big ticket projects, citing the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project, Metro Davao Bike Lane Network, and Davao Public Modernization Program, which includes the High Priority Bus System (HPBS).
He also said DOTr had already rehabilitated and improved services in seaports in the region.
He added that they have also improved covered walkways in the passenger walkway at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport).