DPWH: RROW issues hinder Davao City infra projects

DPWH: RROW issues hinder Davao City infra projects

THE Department of Public Works of Highways-Davao Region (DPWH-Davao) reported that as of February 29, 2024, there are approximately 31 projects totaling P4.12 billion in Davao City, some of which are suspended due to Road Right-Of-Way (RROW) issues.

Dean Ortiz, the DPWH-Davao spokesperson, said during the 11th regular session of the 20th City Council, on Friday morning, March 22, 2024, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, that among these projects, six are under the third legislative district, 13 under the second district, and 12 under the first district, totaling 31 projects. Currently, five projects are ongoing, 24 are suspended mainly due to RROW concerns, and two have been completed, achieving an overall accomplishment rate of 64.3 percent.

In 2022, there were 52 projects in the city with a contract amounting to P9.89 billion. Of these, eight were ongoing, 27 were suspended, and 17 were completed, resulting in an accomplishment rate of 78.53 percent. 

Similar to the 2023 projects, RROW issues caused the suspension of many projects in 2022.

“As you can see, a largepercentage of the projects are suspended, or some of them are partially suspended all because of road right of way problems. So that’s why marami pa tayong nakikitang mga projects na hindi pa po natapos  [we still see many unfinished projects] because until now, we are still in the process of negotiating,” Ortiz said.

Affected by RROW

Ortiz highlighted major projects affected by RROW, such as the Davao City Coastal Road and the viaduct project in Ulas connecting Davao-Bukidnon. He explained that negotiations with landowners are ongoing, and if unsuccessful, the government proceeds with expropriation.

The Davao City Coastal Road, stretching approximately 17.78 kilometers (km), has completed 13.27 km, achieving a 74.63 percent completion rate. 

Ortiz mentioned ongoing construction covering 1.76 kilometers and two bridges. However, RROW issues, particularly along areas like the entrance via Roxas Avenue, have led to the suspension of the project.

“We have to make everybody understand that even with the suspension, our contractors are still working in workable areas,” he said. 

Regarding the viaduct project in Ulas connecting Davao-Bukidnon, intended as an alternate route for drivers heading to the coastal road, Ortiz explained that the reconstruction to concrete pavement in the bypass road viaduct is fully suspended due to RROW issues within the project limit. 

Additionally, factors like land claims, Davao Light and Power Company posts and cables, and telecommunication facilities pose challenges that could impede construction progress if transferred.

Councilor Jessica Bonguyan raised concerns about proceeding with projects before settling issues with landowners, to which Ortiz explained that the pre-construction conference aims to inform landowners, and negotiations follow. If negotiations fail, the government resorts to expropriation.

Following the 20th City Council's call to DPWH-Davao on March 19, 2024, another session was scheduled due to dissatisfaction expressed by several councilors during the initial presentation by the department. RGP

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