The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) XI convened, through video conferencing, for its 2nd Quarter CY 2021 Regular Meeting on 18 May 2021.

In his opening message, IDC XI Chairperson and RDC XI Private Sector Representative (PSR), Mr. Arturo M. Milan expressed his optimism on the matters to be discussed and is looking forward on how the completion of major infrastructure projects shall contribute to the attainment of the goals contained in Chapter 19 of the updated Davao Regional Development Plan (RDP), 2017-2022 Midterm update, which is to Accelerate Strategic Infrastructure Development.

During said meeting, Engr. Manuel T. Jamonir of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation presented the Updated Feasibility Study of the Sasa Port Modernization Project. The RDC XI has previously endorsed this Project through RDC XI Resolution No. 26, series of 2020. However, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has submitted an Updated Feasibility Study which reflects a change in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) modality which is now Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer (ROT). The Committee endorsed the Project for RDC XI’s consideration subject to several recommendations which included providing the status of the Right-of-Way (ROW)/Land Acquisition and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), as well as, the submission of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the approval from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) Governing Board for the reclamation component of the project, among others.

Implementation updates on the major infrastructure projects in the Region were also presented, to wit: the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment from the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), as well as, the Davao City Bypass Road Project (DCBRP) and Samal Island-Davao Connector (SIDC) from the DPWH-UPMO.

Ms. Christense Denise L. Geonzon, Community Development Officer III of the MRP-PMO, informed that a coordination meeting with the Office of the Solicitor General was conducted wherein expropriation cases for some affected properties were discussed. Moreover, the bidding process for the Project Management Consultant was reported to be in the final stages.

The DPWH-UPMO, through Project Manager Joselito Reyes informed that the construction of access roads at the north and south portals for the DCBRP is on-going. Road Right-of-Way acquisition for the main line of the Project is also underway.

On the 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 still ongoing and mobilization for major civil works is targeted by January of 2022, contingent with the effectivity of the loan.

Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella of the Department of Energy (DOE) also presented the salient features of DILG-DOE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-01 or the Guidelines for the LGUs to facilitate the implementation of energy projects or otherwise known as the LGU Energy Code. The Committee endorsed DOE’s request for RDC XI support by enjoining all the LGUs in Region XI to adopt the aforesaid JMC thru the issuance of a local ordinance.

Also discussed during the meeting was the Proposed Design Guidelines for the Construction of Buildings and other Structures, as well as Development of Sites at the Regional Government Center presented by IDC XI Secretary, EnP Mario M. Realista. This comprehensive Design Guidelines aims to achieve broader environmental sustainability and other socio-economic development outcomes. With additional inputs from the Committee, the Proposal was endorsed to RDC XI, for adoption.

Moreover, the 3 telecommunications companies (TelCos) – PLDT Group, Globe Telecom and Dito Telecom – presented their plans on improving and expanding telecommunications and internet connectivity in Davao Region wherein they informed that they are in the process of constructing more cell sites to improve their services. The Committee further requested the TelCos to provide an accomplishment report for the construction of cell sites in Region which is seen to boost mobile wireless connectivity. – Emil B. Clarito, NEDA XI