With another Duterte as mayor, Davao City revives reclamation bid
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sebastian Duterte has revived the local government’s bid to reclaim a portion of the coasts here, more than five years after his sister, now Vice President Sara Duterte, scrapped in 2017 a similar plan firmed up by their father Rodrigo Duterte before the family’s patriarch was catapulted into the presidency.
As a first step, Sebastian has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) on Jan. 25 that spelled out, among others, the city’s application to reclaim 57 hectares of the coastal area, said City Planning and Development Coordinator Ivan Cortez.
Cortez, in an interview on Wednesday, explained that the target of the reclamation effort is the spaces between the coastline and the coastal road built by the Department of Public Works and Highways so that “we can develop the space properly as warranted by socioeconomic and environmental demands of the city.”
The coastal road stretches across portions of the villages of Bago Aplaya, Matina Aplaya and Talomo.
Now environmentally safe
The other nearby spaces, Cortez added, will be left untouched for use by the fishers in the area.
The reclaimed land will be used as open space for leisure activities, Sebastian said in a statement released by the city government on Friday.
“With our guidance, we will make sure that the city, the plans of the city, and the methodology will be okay so that the structural filling up of the submerged area will be to the standard. Importantly, the environment will be protected, if there will be effects at least we can institute mitigating measures,” said Janilo Rubiato, PRA general manager and chief executive officer, in the city’s statement.
In 2017, then mayor and now Vice President Sara terminated a proposed joint venture agreement with a company for the development of a P39-billion mixed-use coastal development project.
The project, which she inherited from her father, former President Rodrigo who also served as city mayor, would have developed 200 hectares of reclaimed area for commercial and residential uses.
In junking the agreement, Sara said she decided against it “after weighing out the intentions of the project against its commercial viability, legal and social implications, and the project’s possible effects on the environment.”
In the present project, Cortez, who also served in the administration of the Vice President when she was the mayor, told the Inquirer that unlike the previous one, this “is just reclaiming areas in between the shoreline and the coastal road,” although this also formed part of the original target.
The reclamation project is within the “jurisdiction of the city government” because these areas are “within the municipal waters,” he said.
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