The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) XI convened, through video conferencing, for a Special Meeting on January 21, 2022 to review and discuss the proposed Change in Scope/Timeline and Increase in Project Cost of the Davao City High Priority Bus System (HPBS) of the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

During his Opening Message, IDC XI Chairperson and RDC XI Private Sector Representative (PSR), Mr. Arturo M. Milan reminded the Committee that the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI has already endorsed the project, with a total project cost of PhP18.66 billion pesos, through RDC XI Resolution No. 116, Series of 2019 on December 6, 2019.

The DOTr, through its letter dated November 29, 2021 addressed to RDC XI Chairperson, Governor Jayvee Tyron L. Uy, requested the Council’s fresh endorsement on the proposed Changes in Scope, Timeline and Cost Increase for the Project, hence, the need for re-evaluation.

The DoTr-Project Management Office, through Project Manager Joanna May Macaranas, presented the salient features of the HPBS project highlighting the proposed changes, as well as, the justifications for each item which resulted to the increase in the total project cost from PhP 19 Billion to PhP 73.9 Billion, or 289 percent.

The project’s Inception Report submitted on March 2021 by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited, the Consultants commissioned by the DoTr, cited the proposed changes on the project, which included the following:
• increased number of bus stops from 288 to 1,075;
• increased number of administration buildings from 3 to 5;
• increased number of bus maintenance facility from 3 to 5;
• an additional Intelligent Traffic System facility; and
• increased number of buses from 994 to 1,040.

The Committee noted that although public consultations were conducted, they were all undertaken prior to the imposition of quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus, a need to conduct another round of public consultations. Moreover, DoTr was requested to secure a Local City Development Council endorsements for the proposed change in scope, cost and timelines for the project from the Davao City, Panabo City, and Davao del Norte Province considering that 10 bus stops shall be located within the City/Province’s jurisdiction.

DoTr was requested to officially respond to the issues and concerns raised by the RDC XI Secretariat and the IDC XI, as well as, to submit the necessary documents before the RDC XI Full Council 1st Quarter Regular Meeting which is slated on March 8, 2022. –Emil B. Clarito, NEDA XI