(Davao City, 2 March 2023). The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) XI convened for its 1st Quarter CY 2023 Regular Meeting on 2 March 2023 at the NEDA-RDC XI Convention Center, SPED Area, Bangkal, Davao City.

In his opening message, the IDC XI Chairperson and Presiding Officer, RDC XI Private Sector Representative Ricardo F. Lagdameo congratulated the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the City Government of Davao, as well as, the IDC XI members, for the NEDA Board approval of the Change in Scope and Increase in Project Cost for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP) on February 2, 2023. He believes that this modern bus-based transportation system will be a landmark project for Davao Region.

Among the meeting’s business agenda were 2 matters under the energy sector raised during the RDC XI Executive Committee Meeting cum Agenda Setting for 2023-2025 conducted on 2 February 2023. These are the poor performance of NORDECO (formerly DANECO) and the bureaucratic red-tape in securing permits for investments in the power sector. NORDECO (together with NEA) was enjoined to regularly report on their performance as aims to recover and achieve a higher level of electric cooperative performance category, as well as proactively engage the concerned Local Government Units, business sector, consumers and other stakeholders within their franchised area in the review and updating (if needed), as well as in the implementation of its Distribution Development Plan consistent with Section 1.2 of Department of Energy (DOE) Department Circular 2021-03-0003. On the other hand, DOE was requested to conduct, in the first semester of CY 2023, an orientation for all LGUs in Davao Region on RA 11234 “Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) Act”, including the EVOSS Online System which was primarily enacted to address the bureaucratic red-tape and comply with the requirements of RA 11032 (Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018).

Also, a regular item in quarterly meetings is the “Implementation Updates on Ongoing Major Infrastructures Projects in Davao Region”. On the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP), the Project Management Office (PMO) of DOTr shared several activities it is currently undertaking, viz:

  • On the loan processing, there is the ongoing internal approval in the Asian Development Bank;
  • For the related infrastructure facilities, procurement activities are ongoing with the target issuance of the Notices of Award starting September 2023;
  • On the institutional capacity strengthening, the bus driver’s training framework is being finalized; and
  • On the social development program, there is the continuing registration drive for the Project-Affected-Persons

The DPWH-Unified Project Management Office, on the other hand, updated the Committee on the Davao City Bypass Construction Project’s (DCBCP) on-going tunnel excavation at the North and South Portals for Package I-1 with an overall accomplishment of 25.92% vs. the proposed revised schedule. As of February 2023, tunnel excavation at the North Portal is now at 407 meters for its northbound tunnel and 460 meters for its southbound tunnel. Meanwhile, tunnel excavation at the South Portal is now at 449 meters for its northbound tunnel and 377 meters for its southbound tunnel

On the Samal Island-Davao Connector (SIDC), the DPWH-UPMO reported that the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) Phase of the Design-and-Build Contract is currently suspended effective January 03, 2023 due to the prevailing issues on Right-of-Way (ROW), particularly in the Davao City Side. As of 25 February 2023, the DED Phase of SIDC is at 44.68% accomplishment with a negative 52.62% slippage. It was also reported that on 31 January 2023, Court Sheriffs (with the presence of Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib and the barangay captains) turned-over the possession of 9 properties in IGaCoS to DPWH with the issuance of the Writ of Possession from Davao del Norte Regional Trial Court.

Moving forward, the Committee shall continue to closely monitor the Davao Region’s performance under the infrastructure sector especially the implementation of crucial projects in the Region identified under the present Administration’s Build Better More (BBM) Program. – Emil B. Clarito, NEDA XI