Davao Bus Project completion in 2026

Project initially expected to commence in last quarter of 2024 but funding challenges move completion to 2026
Davao Bus Project completion in 2026
ADB

THE Davao Bus Project is expected to be completed by 2026, according to project manager Atty. Tristan Dwight Domingo, who also serves as the assistant city administrator.

He said that the buses for the project are anticipated to start operating on the main thoroughfares of Davao City in the last quarter of 2026 due to budgetary issues and the project timeline.

“Sa karon base sa timeline kung kanus-a ma-andam ang pondo na mag-gikan sa national government mga 2026 pa gyud nato makita ning mga bus mao na nang pinakasayo (Currently, based on the timeline and the availability of funds from the national government, we expect to see these buses by 2026 at the earliest),” he said during a radio interview on Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Tuesday morning, June 18, 2024.

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of Davao is partnering with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to fund the Davao Bus Project. 

While ADB is prepared to provide a loan, securing funds from the national government remains a challenge.

“More or less ang pondo ani nga P74 billion na kinahanglanon 60 percent naa nag-gikan sa Asian Development Fund, baylo na siya sa lima or unom ka tuig depende unsa ka daghan sa gastuson (The project requires approximately P74 billion, with 60 percent expected to come from the Asian Development Fund. This loan will be repayable over five to six years, depending on expenditures),” he said.   

About 38 percent of the P74 billion budget will come from the national government, and the City Government of Davao will contribute two percent. 

The total projected cost of the Davao Bus Project is P73.4 billion, with over P52 billion funded through an ADB loan. The city government has committed to allocating at least P1.5 billion as part of its contribution.

In the interim, the LGU of Davao will conduct capability-building seminars for affected jeepney operators and drivers, as mandated by Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte. Domingo anticipates around 10,000 beneficiaries for this program, which will provide both financial and non-financial assistance.

During the training, each beneficiary will receive approximately P700 as pocket money and learn about the funds allocated for their units. 

Each jeepney unit will receive at least P100,000, while each jeepney driver will receive P80,000. If a jeepney has multiple drivers, they will share the amount. Domingo noted these estimates are based on a city study showing a jeepney driver earns about P100,000 over six months, while drivers earn around P80,000.

“Based on the international standards of practice na six months na gina-andam para sa mga taong na apektuhan sa proyekto sa gobyerno sama sa private sector nga pahawaon nila ilang empleyado more or less and standard man gud ka gahinan sila ug six months nga income nila (Based on international standards, we prepare around six months' worth of income for those affected by government projects, similar to how the private sector handles layoffs)," he said.

The city expects to require around 3,000 bus drivers for the 1,000 bus units, considering rotating schedules. Interested jeepney drivers will undergo training at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda). The Davao Bus Project is anticipated to create approximately 10,000 jobs.

Domingo emphasized that the Davao Bus Project alone will not solve the city’s traffic issues but is one of several measures to alleviate congestion. He noted that privately owned vehicles constitute 80 percent of road traffic.

The project includes an extensive network of 29 routes covering 672 km of roads, connecting key areas within Davao City and extending to Panabo City. At least 1,105 buses will operate along these routes, with over 1,000 bus stops to be constructed.

Initially, the bus project was set to begin operations by the end of 2024 and be fully operational by 2025. RGP

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