ISLAND Garden City of Samal (Igacos) Mayor Al David Uy welcomed the recent signing of the Framework Agreement and Loan Agreement for the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project (Davao-Samal Bridge), which will now expedite the bridge both cities had been aspiring.

"Na-come into reality na gyud ang dugay na damgo (It has been a dream that would soon come into reality for) both sides — Davao and Samal," Uy said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

Chinese Consul-General Li Lin confirmed on Tuesday, June 22, the groundbreaking of the bridge is targeted to be in July 2022.

The Philippines and China signed the Framework Agreement and Loan Agreement for Davao-Samal Bridge on June 13.

Lin said the concessional loan will be approximately $350 million to finance the project

Uy said he is thankful that the loan agreement had been signed, after experiencing delays.

"Pasalamat ta sa Ginoo na nagkasinabot gyud ang gobyerno sa People's Republic of China and ang atoang gobyerno sab na mao na gyud ni. Naaprubahan gyud (We would like to thank God that the government of People's Republic of China and the Philppines came into an agreement, and has been approved)," the mayor said.

He also thanked outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte for pushing the bridge as one of his administration's big ticket project.

The mayor said the Department of Public Works and Highways, along with the bridge project contractors, met with the affected lot owners on Wednesday, June 22.

He did not provide additional details on the meeting.

Uy said, based on the report, said it would take five years for the bridge to be fully commenced.

The mayor said that the full swing of the construction might commence either last quarter of 2022 or in January 2023.

However, he said they are also anticipating further delays, such as the possible surge of Covid-19 cases, and the ongoing Ukraine and Russia war, which might affect the logistics of the construction materials.

"Di pa nato masulti, simbako naa(We cannot tell, god forbid, that there might be) delay along the way... Unta dili (I hope there won’t), but we might, because of these external factors... naay mga (there might be) delay," he said.

The SIDC is a two-way four-lane 3.86-km bridge with the main bridge having a length of 1.62-km long.

The China-funded project is envisioned as a modern bridge that will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City of Samal to Davao City in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction. RGL