Davao-Samal Bridge will be completed regardless of next president – DPWH

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 Sep) – The government assured locals here that the highly anticipated 3.98-kilometer Davao City-Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) estimated at P30.5 billion would be pushed through regardless of who will succeed President Rodrigo R. Duterte after his six-year term ends by 2022, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil Sadain said.

The boat ride to Samal Island. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

“National government projects like Davao-Samal inter-island bridge are fully funded from the start, regardless of who will be the sitting next president,” Sadain said in a text message.

He added that this bridge, which will become the longest in the country, would unleash the economic potentials of areas around the Davao Gulf area.

The final alignment of the bridge project has been identified after the feasibility study was completed, Sadain said. The study was conducted by the Hong Kong-based Ove Arup, a multinational firm, which “provides engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment.”

He said that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) would carry out the acquisition of the road right of way.

In a 100-page project description of “Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project” published on the website of the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the land portion of the bridge will fall on residential and industrial areas in Barangay Hizon from the side of Davao City.

It added that the alignment on the other end of the bridge will be positioned between the Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort and Costa Marina Beach Resort, both owned by the Rodriguez family, as well as proximal to the Mercado Subdivision which are the indirect impact areas in Barangays Caliclic and Limao from IGaCoS side.

The bridge, one of the 75 big-ticket flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration, was conceptualized in the year 1970.

“The proposed project will link the existing road networks of Davao City and IGaCoS enhancing the economic activity in both cities. The benefits of the project include a resilient and solid transportation, access to education, employment and business opportunities as well as other services the two cities can and will offer,” it said.

It said that the project might even make IGaCoS a world-class tourist destination and support the growth of Davao Region through an enhanced internal circulation, mobility and external linkages.

The Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)-Cabinet Committee approved for implementation of this project on November 6, 2019. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board confirmed it on November 29, 2019. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)