Davao-Samal bridge project set to start

Excursionists disembark at Babak District in Samal Island, Davao del Norte. MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 June) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to break ground for the long-awaited Davao City-Samal Island Bridge project next month after the loan agreement worth $350 million or P18.67 billion between the Philippines and China was approved last June 13.
 
In a message sent via Viber, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain said the government has already scheduled the groundbreaking of the 3.98-kilometer project sometime in July.
 
The entire project will cost P19.321-billion, mostly financed by the Chinese loan.
 
Sadain said the construction will start this year.
 
He added the design and build contract has a duration of 60 months.
 
On January 14, 2021, the DPWH and China Road and Bridge Corporation signed the design and build contract agreement after the Chinese contractor won the bidding and was subsequently issued with the notice of award on December 14, 2020.
 
According to DPWH, the project will “provide a resilient and reliable transportation link between Metro Davao and Samal Island, enhancing internal mobility and external linkage to support the growth potential of Davao region.”
 
It said it would also provide ease of access to tourism activities in Samal, enhance community access to employment, education and other social services and alternative routes during emergency situations and disasters.
 
The construction of a toll-free four-lane bridge – with two lanes each direction – can serve around 25,000 vehicles a day between Davao City and Samal crossing over Pakiputan Strait, it added.
 
Last June 13, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian exchanged with Finance Secretary Dominguez the signed Framework Agreement and Loan Agreement for Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project.
 
“The first cross-sea bridge that the Davaoeno people have long dreamed of will come true,” Sadain said.
 
“Once completed, this bridge will provide a resilient and reliable transportation link between Davao city and Samal Island, improving transportation efficiency, promoting internal mobility, and stimulating tourism potential,” he said.
 
He said the construction will generate thousands of jobs, contributing “to local economic recovery and improving people’s livelihood.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)