JICA plans to do study on traffic in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Oct) – The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 11 said it is planning to coordinate with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to do a study that will depend on the requirements of Davao City, although initially the city’s traffic condition is up on the list.

This was bared by NEDA 11 Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, in an interview with reporters during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting on Wednesday at the Grand Men Seng Hotel here.

She said one of the components of the study may include the traffic condition of the city and may extend to other aspects of a highly developing urban area depending on the requirements of the city.

There is no timeline yet as to when the study will start, Lim said, but it will commence as soon as the coordination between JICA and the government will be completed.

Lim added they are hoping to come up with a study that will determine how much losses may be incurred if the traffic congestion in the city will worsen.

The official said that Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 11 Director Mariano R. Alquiza, during the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting last Sept. 23 at the NEDA 11 office, disclosed his office’s plan to construct an alternative route along the city’s coastal areas in a bid to ease off the traffic congestion in downtown Davao.

“Nothing is final yet and wala pang alignment. We have to coordinate this matter with the City Government that has the authority over traffic management,” Lim said.

She said they also need to harmonize all studies conducted in the past regarding the city’s traffic situation, most especially the feasibility on the possibility of constructing a railroad system in Mindanao.

“The proposal to construct a railway system has long been discussed,” Lim said.

There have been feasibility studies done on the railway system in the past, but they need to do yet another study because there might have been changes pertaining to the requirements of the city and the Mindanao to increase the competitiveness of the key cities on the island, she pointed out.

Davao Region outperformed all the other 16 regions in the Philippines in terms of economic growth after posting a stellar gross regional domestic product (GRDP) in 2014 at 9.4 percent, a significant increase from its 6.7-percent performance in 2013.

NEDA 11 noted that the region surpassed even the national average of 6.1 percent in 2014, which is still among the fastest growing economies in Asia.

Lim attributed the impressive performance to the collective efforts of the different sectors for enabling the region to sustain its high growth levels for the past three years.