Bongbong Marcos leads Samal-Davao bridge groundbreaking in Davao City
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday led the groundbreaking ceremony for the Samal Island – Davao City Connector (SIDC) project, which is seen to reduce travel time between both cities from 50 minutes to four and a half minutes.
The 3.98-kilometer bridge, a flagship project under the “Build, Build, Build” program during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, will be hugely funded through a loan agreement with the Chinese government.
“Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as enhance its residents’ access to employment, education and other services,” Marcos said in his speech.
The SIDC project, he said, would accommodate up to 25,000 vehicles every day.
“In 2027, this bridge will surely ease the convenience of travel and transport, bringing forth gainful opportunities for many of our people by providing a link between relatively far-flung areas and economic centers. Thereby, we ensure smoother mobility of people and of goods,” Marcos added.
He further claimed that the bridge will likewise improve peace and order, allow better access to tourism spots, and make more efficient aid distribution in the area, especially during times of calamities.
Marcos also expressed gratitude for the Chinese government “as they were an active member and have always been a dependable partner in this infrastructure development program.”
“This is not the only project that we have depended on concessional loans and even grants from the government of the People’s Republic of China and it is clear to see the benefits that those projects bring to our people, to our economy and to the Philippines,” he said.
This, Marcos noted, is a “testament to the strong and ever-growing foundation of the bilateral relations and cooperation between our two countries.”
He then underscored that the role of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) goes beyond the completion of the SIDC project as its responsibilities include a “broader task of nation-building.”
“Through the continued construction of short and long span bridges across the country, we can boost regional transport and spur economic development and competitiveness in the countryside,” the President noted.
Marcos also gave credit to the DPWH, who started the project in 2018 under the leadership of the department’s then Secretary Mark Villar.
“The previous administration had already been working on this project for four years before we arrived to this day.
However, I am looking forward to also once again being the lucky one to open the bridge when it is finished,” he said.
Vice President Sara Duterte, her brother and Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, Island Garden City of Samal Mayor Al David Uy, DPWH chief Manuel Bonoan, and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian also joined Marcos at the groundbreaking rites.
Calls to realign the P23-billion SIDC project earlier surfaced due to the seen damage it might bring to the Paradise coral reefs and marine life in the area, and the issues relating to the right-of-way.
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