Mr. Shigehiko Sugita of JICA and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim during the ceremonial signing.

December 9, 2022, Davao City –  The National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office XI, represented by Regional Director Maria Lourdes Lim, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Headquarters, represented by Director and Team Leader Shigehiko Sugita of the JICA–Urban and Development Group, Infrastructure Management Division, signed the Records of Discussion (ROD) on Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Japan for the Formulation of a Comprehensive and Sustainable Urban Development Master Plan for Metropolitan Davao on December 12, 2022 at the NEDA-RDC XI Center, Km. 7, Bangkal, Davao City.

The ROD documented the agreements for the TCP implementation by both Parties, and documented the detailed plan for the formulation of a Comprehensive and Sustainable Urban Development Master Plan for Metropolitan Davao, referred to as “the Project”, which will be implemented within the framework of the Agreement on the GOP-GOJ Technical Cooperation.

The ceremonial signing was attended by the NEDA XI and JICA Teams, as well as some media practioners from both the government and private sector.  The JICA team was comprised of the JICA-Philippines Assistant Director Ginga Nakadai of Cooperation Planning, as well as, the JICA Preparatory Suvey Team: Ken Kumazawa, a Regional Development and City Planning Expert – Chief Consultant from Comprehensive Planning Division Overseas Almec Corp., and Takashi Koyama, an Infrastructure Expert – Project Manager of Urban and Regional Group, Oriental Consultant Global. Joining the NEDA XI Team  were Assistant Regional Director Gilberto A. Altura, Chief Ecomonic Development Specialists Rosendo M. Ayay-ay of Policy Formulation and Planning Division, Mario M. Realista of Project Evaluation and Planning Division, Lalaine M. Sajelan of Development Research Division, and the technical staff of the Policy Formulation and Planning, and Project Monitoring and Evaluation Divisions who facilitated the JICA Preparatory Mission from November 17-December 9, 2022 in Davao Region.

The formulation of the said master plan is an initiative of the NEDA XI and adopted by Metropolitan Davao Development Coordinating Committee, a special Committee of the RDC XI for inter-LGU cooperation to support the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA) which was later created pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11708 or the MDDA Act.

In her message during the ceremonial signing program, NEDA XI Regional Director Lim highlighted the 2-pronged approach of Davao Region in institutionalizing Metropolitan Davao and master plan formulation based on the Davao Regional Spatial Development Framework 2015-2045, under which, the major strategy involves the expansion of Metropolitan Davao into a Comprehensive Outcomes for Rural Empowerment (CORE) Growth Triangle focusing on growth centers along the Davao Gulf.  Dir. Lim also said that the ROD signing signals the commencement of the 24-month TCP implementation and a concrete manifestation of NEDA XI’s commitment to ensure that Davao Region, particularly the 15 local government units under the jurisdiction of MDDA, shall achieve sustainable and inclusive development. “NEDA XI is confident that this Project will be a successful endeavor given the support from national, regional and local leadership, as well as from all sectors of society, who are the beneficiaries of the Project”, she added.

Director Sugita, in his message, said that it was a great task to be involved in development planning of the Metropolitan Davao.  He hoped that the LGUs and government agencies involved in the project will have a good coordination with the team towards a fruitful engagement and successul project implementation.

The planning period of the Master Plan cover 2025-2029, for the short-term, 2025-2035, for the mid-term, and 2025-2045, for the long-term.  This is for consistency with the following related plans: Davao Region Physical Development Framework 2015-2045, Davao Regional Development Plan (DRDP) 2023-2028, Mindanao Spatial Strategy/Development Framework (MSSDF) 2015-2045, and the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of the participating LGUs under Metropolitan Davao.

-Sr. EDS Ruth C. Lasquite, NEDA XI