Road rights problem delays Davao’s drainage system project

Duterte said construction of the project will be delayed because of problems on securing land clearance for portions of the project that pass though private property.

"It is my fault. I take full responsibility," he said Sunday at the "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" (From the masses, to the masses) television program of the city government aired over ABS-CBN Davao.

But Duterte warned land owners of expropriation starting next month. He said the process will take long.

Duterte led groundbreaking rites of the project in October last year after awarding the project to David M. Consunji Inc. on a design-and-build package.

The announcement came as the city braces through days of rains. Flashfloods are occurring in more areas in the city due to clogged drainage.  

Duterte said in October that the drainage won't really stop the perennial flood problem of the city but at least address the problem in the major flood-prone areas.

He blamed flooding in the city, however, to climatic change. Although he stressed he was not trying to justify, the city government has no money to build drainage just like those in the city's Roxas Avenue straight to the seashore.

He said he has to push through with the drainage system that will "criss-cross" through the city.     

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in October with each of the six areas identified as priority in Barangay Lizada, Toril; McArthur Highway-Tulip Drive junction; Sta. Ana– Suazo-Boulevard area; Brgy. Obrero; Lanang; and NHA Buhangin.

Duterte called on the public not to add to the problem by clogging the existing drainage system.

"They want a solution, but they are still part of the problem," Duterte said.

He agreed to the suggestion of Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, the show's host, to accompany the project with an information and education campaign.

The allocation for the project was part of the P990 million loaned by the city government from Land Bank of the Philippines last year earlier this year. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)