Davao bares infra modernization plan worth almost P300B

Davao City’s MacArthur Highway in Matina. MindaNews file photo by GG BUENO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 April) – The city government unveiled Tuesday its 27-year Infrastructure Modernization Plan (IM4Davao) that lists down short-, medium- and long-term priority projects worth P298.4 billion that may be funded by the national government or private investors.

Lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, Assistant City Administrator told a press briefing on Tuesday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao that IM4Davao guides the city on how it will pursue infrastructure development.

“In case, certain investors will be interested in particular industry, to help Davao City, we can have specific things what the city really needs. This is a list which can serve as a basis of specific things we can request from national government to help us with or to fund,” he said.

IM4Davao project manager Ken Kumazawa said the plan, drafted by the National Economic Development Authority, city government and the Japanese International Coordination Agency, focuses on eight priority sectors – environment/land use, road transport, public transport, traffic management, water supply, sewerage, solid waste, and industrial development.

He said the city government saw the need to create an infrastructure plan as the city is expected to perform key regional and international roles.

He cited that the city is the seat of Region XI and serves as a premier hub for education, industry, commerce, trade, among others, in Mindanao.

He added that it’s the gateway to and an economic center of the East ASEAN Growth area for manufacturing and service industries.

“In order to satisfy these roles, Davao City needs to prioritize infrastructure development as a driver of urban development to guide investments in housing, commercial, business, manufacturing and tourism,” he said.

The drafting of IM4Davao was funded by JICA.

Domingo said the plan will guide the city on how to improve its road networks, traffic management, intra-city railway network plan projects, water supply development plan projects and other infrastructures.

He said they welcome investors or other parties that may want to fund any of the projects.

“The good thing of having this, it’s now open if there is viable private proposals. Tåhe city is ready and willing to sit down with them. We have plans and data that will be backing it up,” he added.

NEDA director Maria Lourdes Lim said they’re hoping some of the projects will obtain grants so that these can be started.

“The other components of the masterplan will have to go through a rigorous evaluation or appraisal process and the appropriate financing scheme or source will be determined alongside various options,” she said.

“Having these projects, for example, in the public investment program which is being managed by NEDA, that will be a signal not only to our government but also to our ODA (official development assistance) partners and even private sector through PPP (public-private partnership) that we want to make Davao City as, perhaps, the most competitive and livable city in southern Philippines,” she added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)