(Davao City, 6 September 2023). The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) XI convened for its 3rd Quarter CY 2023 Regular Meeting on 6 September 2023 via Zoom platform.

In his opening message, the IDC XI Chairperson and Presiding Officer, RDC XI Private Sector Representative Ricardo F. Lagdameo, cited significant traffic relief brought by the opening of the Bago Aplaya-Tulip Drive Segment of the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project (DCCBRP) in the congested Davao-Cotabato Road en route to the City Center which just shows that the infrastructure sector is indeed a key driver to economic growth, with the improvement in mobility contributing to the reduction of travel time and cost. He also mentioned that the Committee plays a crucial role in Davao Region’s development, particularly in the formulation of policies and monitoring programs and projects for the acceleration of the development of infrastructure sector.

For the meeting’s first business agenda, the Committee endorsed, for the RDC XI’s approval, a total of 1,580 PAPs amounting to PhP 167.377 Billion as the Infrastructure Sector Component of the Davao Region FY 2025 Annual Investment Program covering 3 chapters and sub-chapters of the Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP), 2023-2028 namely:

  • Chapter 4.3: Establish Livable Communities;
  • Chapter 13: Expand and Upgrade Infrastructure; and
  • Chapter 17 on Davao Region’s vision to be An International Logistics Hub of Southern Philippines.

The Committee also reviewed the Region’s infrastructure sector performance for the 1st and 2nd Quarters CY 2023 through the DRDP, 2023-2028 Results Matrices Progress Report, for the RDC XI’s approval. Overall, for the infrastructure sector, 30.17 percent of indicators under the Establish Livable Communities and Expand and Upgrade Infrastructure Chapter of the DRDP, 2023-2028 Results Matrix 2023-2028 are on track or exceeding their annual targets.

The Committee also endorsed the reconstitution of the Technical Working Group on “Establishing Davao Region as the Logistics Hub of Southern Philippines” created through RDC XI Resolution No. 144, series of 2022. Additional members were proposed to include the several Local Governments Units along the Davao Gulf. Moreover, the TWG was tasked to monitor the implementation of Region’s vision to become an International Logistics Hub espoused under Chapter 17 of the DRDP, 2023-2028.

The Committee then endorsed for RDC XI approval and for onward endorsement to Aboitiz Power Corporation, a total of 17 development and livelihood project proposals utilizing the accumulated Regional Share of the ER 1-94 Funds. Of these proposals, 9 were submitted by Davao Oriental, 2 from Davao del Norte and 6 from Davao de Oro.

The Department of Public Works and Highways-Unified Project Management Office (DPWH-UPMO) presented the highlights of the Master Plan and Feasibility Study on Flood Control and Drainage in Davao City. Said master plan and feasibility study was endorsed for RDC XI approval and for onward endorsement to the NEDA Board-Investment Coordination Committee. However, the Committee requested DPWH-UPMO to specify priority projects scheduled for investment in CY 2025 to ensure inclusion in the Davao Region AIP, and also to ensure a comprehensive approach to mitigate flooding in Davao City and Davao Region.

Lastly, a regular item in the quarterly meetings is the “Implementation Updates on Ongoing Major Infrastructures Projects in Davao Region”. The IDC XI members were apprised of implementation updates on major infrastructures projects in Davao Region, to wit: the Mindanao Railway Project Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment (MRP-TDD) and Davao City Public Transportation Modernization Project (DPTMP) from the Project Management Offices (PMO) of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), as well as, the Davao City Bypass Construction Project (DCBCP) and Samal Island-Davao Connector (SIDC) from the DPWH-UPMO.

The MRP-PMO reported of its recent activities related to Right-of-Way Site Acquisition particularly the partial payment for landowners in Tagum City on August 24, 2023, as well as, land development and construction of 64 quadruplex housing units in Tagumpay Train Village.

On the DPTMP, the ceremonial singing of the Loan Agreement was conducted on July 1, 2023 and procurement activities for the infrastructure projects are ongoing. Civil works is expected to commence by December of 2023 with the ceremonial groundbreaking targeted on December 8, 2023.

The DPWH-UPMO, on the other hand, updated the Committee on the DCBCP’s on-going tunnel excavation at the North and South Portals for Package I-1 with an overall accomplishment of 37.168% vs. the proposed revised schedule. As of August 31, 2023, tunnel excavation at the North Portal is now at 736 meters for its northbound tunnel and 703 meters for its southbound tunnel. Meanwhile, tunnel excavation at the South Portal is now at 744 meters for its northbound tunnel and 785 meters for its southbound tunnel.

On the SIDC, the DPWH-UPMO reported that the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) Phase of the Design-and-Build Contract is at 74.41% but is currently suspended effective January 03, 2023 due to the prevailing issues on Right-of-Way (ROW).

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

Emil B. Clarito, NEDA XI