Reclamation project developer in Davao told to give importance to mitigating traffic

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Jan) – Developers of a reclamation project here that would develop the coast along Magsaysay Park to Bucana into a mixed-use project would need to focus on mitigating the traffic in accordinace with a city ordinance, according to an official from the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO).

In an interview Wednesday, Jose Froilan Rigor, who heads the CPDO’s planning division, said developer Mega Harbour has suggested the development of a 200-hectare reclamation project to include port operations aside from industrial, commercial and medium-residential tenements on a long coast.

Rigor said the city has also recommended that the developers build a coastal road away from the city center.

This is if it wants to push through with port operations in anticipation of heavy traffic due to large vehicles like trailer and cargo trucks regularly passing through the area.

The coastal road should be separate from the existing road systems, Rigor said.

The cost of laying a coastal road, Rigor said, could range from P200 million to “billions,” since it would entail the reclamation of land for the development.

Last year, the City Council passed a revision of the Traffic Code, which required developers to submit a traffic impact assessment document before being given a building permit, especially for large developments.

The CPDO official added, however, that the reclamation project could be a good solution to the issue of informal settlers along Bucana.

Rigor said the developers should construct a mixed-use development that would hopefully improve the lives of informal settlers living in the area, who could be relocated to tenement projects near the site.

Jobs could be created, and the area could be improved, he pointed out.

“Who knows, maybe we could see a rise of a new middle class if this happens?” Rigor said.

Earlier this month, Davao City Investment Promotions Center OIC Ivan Cortez said that the Mega Harbour project was a joint venture between the developer and the city government.

Cortez said the city government has started tagging the residents of Bucana who could be affected by the project.

The Public-Private Partnership board in December last year granted Mega Harbour a certificate of original proponent document.

Earlier this week, a source said the PPP board was proposing several amendments to the PPP ordinance at the city council.