Marcos launches P46.8-billion road project in Davao City
DAVAO CITY, Davao del Sur, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. inaugurated on Saturday the first and longest segment of the P46.8-billion Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project that involves building a 45.5-kilometer road through the country’s longest mountain tunnel.
“Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed this project slowly progress. Six years now, since the project has began, we now stand in front of the first completed segment,” he said during the inauguration ceremony held in Davao City.
Marcos also called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to “strive to finish the remaining segments and let us do it within schedule so that our people may reap and will truly enjoy the maximum benefits of your hard work.”
The DPWH officials earlier said the 2.3-kilometer mountain tunnel in the Philippines could be completed by December and may be partially opened by next year.
Aside from the tunnel, the project also involves three bridges, two underpasses, and two overpasses.
Shorter travel time
Once completed, the entire bypass road will slash travel time between Toril district in Davao City and the northern Panabo City in Davao Del Norte, the current two hours to under 49 minutes.
After the inauguration of the bypass road, Marcos also witnessed the signing of the P73.4-billion loan agreement for the Davao Public Transport Modernization (DPTM) project.
The DPTM covers a 672-kilometer road network for 29 routes to be served by 1,105 buses that can serve around 800,000 passengers daily
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Pavit Ramachandran signed the financing deal at a hotel here.
The ADB loan will cover 60 percent of the project cost while the DOTR will shoulder 40 percent of the funding.
The Davao City government will also contribute P1.5 billion for the project, which is expected to cater to 800,000 passengers daily.
“I assure my fellow Filipinos that your government is working hard to improve the country’s transportation systems, operations, and management for the benefit of present and future generations,” the president said in his speech.
Earlier in the day, the president attended the 56th Araw ng Davao del Sur celebration in Digos City where he thanked residents for their continued support.
“Please do not get tired because we will repay your love with our sweat that will not run out until we can say that the work is done until we can say that there are no hungry Filipinos,” he told the crowd inside a sports complex in Digos.
Marcos said giving the best services to Filipinos was his way of extending his gratitude for their trust and confidence in his administration.
He lauded the provincial government for becoming the first province in the Davao region to be declared “insurgency-free” and commended officials “for doing your best to continue to maintain that status right up to this day.”