THE Davao City coastal road project will be included in the 2017 budget, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao said.
DPWH-Davao director Mariano Alquiza told reporters last Thursday, July 7, in a press conference, that they will push for the coastal project as it is seen to decongest traffic especially in the southern part of the city.
“The project will be implemented in phases, the 2017 budget will be for its first phase of construction,” he said.
The P150 million coastal road project, as proposed, will be stretching from Matina Aplaya all the way to Toril. But the length of the coastal road will be dependent if DPWH-11 can settle right-of-ways (Row) issues.
“Once the budget is approved, we are targeting to finish the project in five years just in time before this new administration will end,” Alquiza said.
“President Rodrigo Duterte, when we first introduced this project, showed positive response on this. Our road projects are geared towards solving the increasing traffic in Davao City. For this one, we wanted to replicate the coastal road project in Cebu,” he added.
Also, he pointed out that, the project will affect informal settlers residing along the shoreline in the city.
“We are expecting again problems on Row issues” he said.
For instance, project timeline of the Davao City Diversion Road extension project moved anew from July to December 5, 2016 because of road-right-of-way (RROW) issues.
The construction of the 2.6-kilometer bypass road extending to Toril, Bangkal-Talomo-Puan section was first eyed to be completed in April 2016.
When asked about what measures have been undertaken by the stakeholders to address the issue on mushrooming of the illegal settlers in the area, Alquiza said that ongoing negotiations and coordination meetings with involved residents, project proponents and other involved agencies are being done to fully settle the issues.
“The illegal settlers are really firm on opposing the project, but we are hopeful that they will finally understand that this project is for the common good,” he said.
Meanwhile, DPWH-Davao said that more infrastructure projects for Davao Region can be expected under the Duterte administration.
“More infrastructure projects will surely trigger more economic development in this part of the country," Alquiza said adding that Davao City will be in the limelight for the next six years.
For 2016, the department has earmarked a total of P19.5-Billion for its infrastructure program with 752 projects.
Of the figure, as of June 30 this year, a total of 193 projects were completed, 493 are ongoing while only 65 projects has yet to start.