China to donate bridge worth P1.5B in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 Sep) – The Chinese government will donate a major bridge worth P1.5 billion in Davao City, the hometown of President Rodrigo R. Duterte where he served as mayor for 22 years, as a gesture of goodwill for its ally, an official of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said.

DPWH-Davao Region Director Allan S. Borromeo said in an interview that the Chinese government expressed the intention to build the “Davao River Bridge-Bucana,” which is part of the 18.20-kilometer Davao City Coastal Road Project.

He said the bridge was originally programmed for implementation using government funds but the Chinese showed the interest to construct the bridge. The design has already been completed.

But Borromeo said he has no knowledge when it will be scheduled for construction as the Philippine government has yet to formalize an agreement with the Chinese government.

In a separate interview, DPWH-Davao Region public affairs and information officer Dean Ortiz said the bridge is in the pipeline but nothing is definite yet until there is actual funding or “until such time that a memorandum of agreement will be signed” between Philippines and China.

He said the 800-meter linear bridge would connect the Segment B (Times Beach area to Roxas Avenue) of the coastal road project, which would pass through the Davao River. Segment B is worth P3.3 billion and with seven packages is scheduled for implementation next year.

The government started last year the construction of Segment A, which has a length of 1.682 kilometers, from Bago Aplaya to Times Beach area.

The entire coastal road project is worth P19.8 billion and eyed for completion by 2021.

With a budget of P1.96 billion, he said Segment A is set for completion this year.

The Segment A comprises five packages. As of August 31, package 1 is 89.73% complete; package 2, 87.4%; package3, 91.2%; package 4, 93.35%; and package 5, 93.35%.

“This year, it will be completed. We are bent on completing these 5 packages. And then, while implementing the proposed esplanade in the Gulf View area, we will then create an access road, from Davao-Cotabato that will pass through the Gulf View Area,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)