ADB signs PH's $1B loan for Davao public transport

Photo credit to ADB
Photo credit to ADB

A $1 BILLION loan was approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the funding of the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP) — a big-ticket, city-wide bus system project in Davao City.

The loan was approved by ADB on Thursday, June 29, and is part of the total P80-billion budget for the project. Particularly, the $1 billion fund is 60 percent of the budget while the remaining will come from the Department of Transportation and the City Government of Davao.

According to ADB, the Asean Infrastructure Fund is co-financing the project with $10-million loan under its Asean Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) and a $50-million loan from the Green Climate Fund under the ACGF’s Green Recovery Program.

The DPTMP would be the first project to deploy electric bus fleets for public transportation that would reduce greenhouse gases and promote climate action.

“The project is set to transform the quality of Davao City’s public transport and support the city’s rapid economic growth with a low-carbon and climate-resilient bus system,” ADB Senior Transport Specialist for Southeast Asia Shuji Kimura said.

The budget for the DPTMP, formerly known as the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) Project, was initially P18-billion but the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved DOTr’s request to expand the scope, cost, and implementation period of the project.

The ADB loan would be used for the acquisition of the fleet of modern buses, which includes 1,100 electric and Euro 5-standard diesel-fueled buses.

Project manager Lawyer Dwight Domingo said DOTr’s funding will be used for social development programs and land acquisition, including six major sites for the planned five depots, three terminals, and one drivers’ academy.

While Davao City’s P1.5 billion-share is planned to be appropriated for non-financial assistance for drivers and operators who will be displaced because of the project.

The plan now is when everything is set, the DOTR plans to turn over the assets to the city government,” Domingo said during his speech before the Davao City Council last February.

The DPTMP is expected to service around 800,000 Dabawenyo commuters per day.

“Based on the timeline that we have now for the project, the earliest that we can have will probably be at the end of 2024. Then from there, it would probably span around six months for us to see the entire system working in the whole city,” Domingo said.


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