COVID-19 pandemic pushes back 3 major infrastructure projects in Davao City

The CIty Hall of Davao in the time of COVID-19. MIndaNews photo by GREGORIO C. BUENO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 November)– Three major infrastructure projects of the city government of Davao will no longer push through until the end of Mayor Sara Duterte’s term in mid-2022 due to the debilitating impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to City Hall’s tax generation stream.

In her pre-recorded State of the City Address (SOCA) streamed live on Facebook on Monday, Duterte, who is on her second term as mayor, said the expansion of the City Hall building and the construction of the City College of Davao and the Davao City Hospital have been pushed back beyond her term.

She said there’s no definite date as to the implementation of the expansion plan for the decades-old City Hall building, which is the least priority among the three projects.

Duterte added the construction of the City College of Davao, which was originally slated for opening last August, has been postponed until June 2023, but the feasibility study for this project is underway.

“Hopefully, by that time, the situation will already allow face-to-face classes,” she said.

The construction of the Davao City Hospital, which will be implemented in partnership with the University of the Philippines-Mindanao, will take shape in 2024, according to Duterte.

“Right now, the documentary requirements for this hospital are being accomplished,” she said.

The mayor disclosed the city government would have a lower 2021 budget in the amount of P9.871 billion, down P466 million compared to the P10.337 billion budget this year due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

“The difference is attributed to the decrease of income from local sources because of the severe economic impact of COVID-19,” she said.

The effect of a lower budget allocation will reduce the number of projects under the development fund, Duterte noted.

“On the bright side, we are still on track in our goal to have a “Debt Free Davao 2022,” she said.