WITH the construction of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project (Davao-Samal Bridge) targeted to start this year, Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) Mayor Al David Uy said the city is now building up the capacity of its support infrastructures in anticipation for the possible influx of tourists.

Uy said in a radio interview that the Council is already planning to amend its Land Use Plan to adapt to the change brought about by the new infrastructures of the city.

Uy also said they are also anticipating the transition of franchise from Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco) to AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) in either July or August this year, following the passage on the third and final reading of House Bill (HB) 10554 (Committee Report No. 609) or an act expanding the franchise area of DLPC of the AboitizPower subsidiary to include Igacos and other parts of Davao del Norte. The bill was passed on May 30 this year.

The mayor said the rehabilitation of power lines must be expedited soonest, considering stable electricity has been a looming problem on the island.

"Hopefully, magsugod na ang transition para ma-rehabilitate na atong power line diria sa Samal kay isa na nga problema (the transition for the rehabilitation of the power line in Samal would start since it is one of the problems of the island)," Uy said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

The reelected mayor also said the city is going to invest in the construction of a bulk water supply.

Uy said they are going to have "exploratory talks" with Manila Water Company, Inc. for the bulk water and the construction of the sewerage system on the island.

"Mao mani (This is it), the bridge will be there. Definitely, ang influx sa tao... Kinahanglan maapas na ang kuryente, ug tubig and ang sewerage. Mao ni amo ginapaningkamutan (the influx of the people... There is a need to catch up with the demand for electricity, water, and sewerage. This is what we are catching up with)," he said.

Uy also said they are in talks with telecommunication companies to address the internet connectivity on the island since it is also a major issue.

He said there is a need to improve the infrastructure of the island in anticipation of the influx of tourists. He projected that the bridge would be fully constructed after five years.

Chinese Consul-General Li Lin confirmed on Tuesday, June 22, that 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 welcomed the recent signing of the Framework Agreement and Loan Agreement for the Davao-Samal Bridge, which will now expedite the bridge both cities had been aspiring for. RGL