Construction of Davao monorail to start in 2020

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 March) — The Udenna Corporation, a company owned by business tycoon Dennis Ur Jr., hopes to start the construction of the country’s first monorail project in Davao City next year, a company executive said. 

At the Mindanao Business Forum held at the Seda Abreeza Hotel on Friday, Engr. Manuel T. Jamonir, assistant vice president for Udenna Infrastructure Corporation, said the intra-city urban rail transport system called “Davao City Mover Project” would provide passengers a comfortable daily commute.

“In God’s grace, we hope to start the construction next year,” he said.

He said the company is aggressively pushing for this project as its founder, Uy, one of the campaign funders of President Rodrigo Duterte in the May 2016 presidential race, wanted a “legacy project for Davao” which would address the traffic problem of the city.

He said the proposed 13-kilometer monorail, a straddle-type monorail pegged at a nominal cost of P80 billion, would start from Bangkal, passing along MacArthur Highway all the way to Bankerohan then right to Magallanes Street, left to Claveria, and then to SM Lanang Premier.

The project would have 15 stations, serving an estimated number of 100,000 riders at its completion three to four years from start of construction, according to Jamonir.

Once pushed through, Jamonir said Davao would be the first city in the country to have a monorail as an urban mass transit system, similar to what they have in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China, US, and Europe.

He said the company is waiting for approval from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) before the “Swiss Challenge,” allowing other groups to submit counterproposals to match Udenna’s.

But as holder of the original proponent status (OPS) holder, Jamonir said Udenna would have the right to match counterproposal of a “challenger.”

He said 30-year concession would be granted to the operator.

Udenna and Chelsea Holdings, also owned by Uy, created a consortium with China Telecom known as Mislatel that was officially declared as the country’s new major telco player after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) En Banc issued its confirmation order on November 19, 2018. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)