Mayor Duterte getting impatient with Davao-Samal Bridge project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 30 January) – City Mayor Sara Duterte showed her dismay at the pace of the the Davao City-Samal Island Bridge project by joking she will commit suicide if it’s not finished by 2022.

“Niingon ko nga maghikog ko kung dili mabuhat ang Davao-Samal Bridge (I said I will commit suicide if it’s not done). Con Gen (Chinese Consul General) Li Lin, we will commit suicide together if that bridge is not up by 2022,” Duterte said in jest during the 51st Annual Installation of Officers and Board of Trustees of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao on Tuesday evening

The bridge project, a Chinese government-supported project, is one of the three massive infrastructure projects that are being pushed by the city government and funded by the national government, she said.

The two others are the 18.20-kilometer Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways and 45.2-kilometer Davao City Bypass Road Project supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The proposed budget of the bridge project is P10 billion.

The Davao-Samal bridge, which has an approximate length of 1.8 kilometers across Pakiputan Strait, is one of the 16 short and long span-bridge projects under the flagship “Build, Build, Build” program of the government to link the island provinces in Mindanao and Visayas to Luzon via land travel.

But National Economic Development Authority 11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said the government may build a submarine tunnel to connect Davao City and Samal Island due to some geophysical limitations in Pakiputan Strait that might make the construction of a multi-billion bridge unlikely.

But she added nothing is definite yet until the international consultancy firm Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong LTD completes the feasibility study in August this year.

The study will assess the feasibility of the proposed connector, covering engineering, economic, social impact and environmental safeguards studies, including  the alignment and structural form based on technical, economic, environmental and social impacts. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)