Davao City to tap local consultants for traffic roadmap

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 January) — The City Government of Davao is tapping local consultants to make a traffic roadmap that will guide the development of the city’s transport system for the next 20 to 30 years.

“The city is negotiating with would-be consultants such that we can come up with a sort of a bible for handling traffic congestion and transport infrastructure projects,” City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) said in an interview on Thursday.

He said  this was the instruction given by Mayor Sara Duterte in order to address the worsening traffic congestion in the city, amid the growing interest of the investors to locate here.

He added that the consultants, who will start work this month, will be composed of 15 members who are all locals of the city. He said their names will be divulged shortly.

“Right now, we are in talks with Davao-based consultants because we want experiential expertise. The advantage of those in Davao is that they know the problem, experience the problem themselves and so they get a better feel of the solutions that they may suggest later on,” he said.

Cortez said the traffic roadmap is needed immediately as the city is fast-growing and any delay in its crafting will make it harder for the city to resolve the pernicious effects of development.

“It’s high time for Davao to take centerstage. We welcome development. It’s a good problem to solve because the market is coming to Davao,” he said.

He said the city lacks a better urban planning and “it’s difficult to catch up with the development when we have not prepared for the big time.”

He added the city was only designed for a population of 50,000 back in the 1930’s but population today has reached over 2 million.

The traffic congestion in downtown area can also be blamed on the growing number of residents owning cars brought about by the easier payment scheme offered by the car dealers here, according to Cortez.

“A car dealer in Davao gives a quota for the entire outlet of 200 cars per month. If we have 10 car dealers, that’s additional 2,000 cars ever months, excluding the surplus cars coming from other countries,” he said.

He said they are also planning to transfer the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) from Ecoland to three entry points in the city – Bunawan, Toril, and Calinan – to ease up the traffic congestion.

Cortez emphasized that discipline among the motorists is equally important as the traffic roadmap. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)