The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) XI convened, through online video conferencing, for its 1st Quarter CY 2021 Regular Meeting on 4 March 2021, during which a new Chairperson and Co-Chairperson were elected in view of the reassignment of the previous IDC XI Chairperson for the term 2019-2022. Moreover, implementation updates on major infrastructure projects the Region were discussed.

The Committee unanimously elected the incumbent Co-Chairperson, RDC XI Private Sector Representative (PSR) for Tourism and Hospitality, Mr. Arturo M. Milan, as the new Chairperson and DPWH XI OIC-Regional Director Rey Peter B. Gille as the new Co-Chairperson for the remainder of the term 2019-2022.

During the said meeting, Project Manager Rogelio O. Ang of the DPWH-Unified Project Management Office (DPWH-UPMO) presented the updates on the ongoing JICA-assisted Master Plan and Feasibility Study on Flood Control and Drainage in Davao City. The Project aims to mitigate flood damage in Davao City by implementation of flood control measures through development of the Master Plan for Davao River, Matina River and Talomo River basin and conducting the Feasibility Study on urgent and/or priority projects. He informed that Feasibility Studies for priority projects for the Davao River are expected to commence in March 2021.

Several big tickets projects are ongoing in Davao Region. Ms. Christense Denise L. Geonzon, Community Development Officer III of the Mindanao Railway Project-Project Management Office (MRP-PMO), informed that the Right-of-Way (ROW) acquisition for the MRP Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment is targeted to be completed by the third quarter of 2021 and construction activities shall immediately begin thereafter.  Further, partial operation is targeted by the first quarter of 2022.

On the Samal Island-Davao Connector (SIDC), Project Manager Director Lilibeth B. Rico of the DPWH-UPMO informed that the loan processing under the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and China EXIM Bank is ongoing and mobilization for major civil works is targeted by September of 2021, contingent with the effectivity of the loan. The SIDC shall provide a resilient & reliable transportation link between Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) to support the growth potential of the Davao Region.

Moreover, the DPWH-UPMO, through Engr. Earl Nicholas F. Rada, provided updates on the implementation of the Davao City Bypass Road Project (DCBRP). Package I-1 of the said project was awarded to the Shimizu-Ulticon-Takenaka Joint Venture (JV) and has started last December 21, 2020. It has a project duration of 1,110 calendar days and is expected to be completed by January 4, 2024. The preparation of documentary requirements for the transport of the equipment needed for the tunnel component of the DCBRP is ongoing. Said equipment shall be shipped from other countries such as Japan and Europe. Construction of the rest of the packages (Package I-2 & I-3, Package II-1 and Package II-2 & II-3) is expected to commence in 2022.

Moving forward, the Committee shall continue to closely monitor the implementation of these crucial infrastructure projects in Davao Region, especially those identified under the present Administration’s Build, Build, Build (BBB) Program.

– Emil B. Clarito, NEDA XI