A P4.5 billion 66-kilometer bypass road that will connect Davao and Bukidnon, passing areas previously considered as stronghold of insurgents, is in the plan.
The Davao regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has sought the endorsement of the City Council for the construction of the alternate road.
“(This road) will serve as an alternate Davao-Bukidnon route traversing in a portion of Davao del Norte,” DPWH XI Regional Director Allan Borromeo said in a letter sent to Councilor Jesus Joseph Zozobrado, who chairs the council’s committee on public works and highways.
The said project will traverse through the junction of Davao City Diversion Road-Catalunan Grande-Talandang-Sumimao-Pañalum-Tapak-Cabanglasan-Aglayan in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
The project, with a budget of more than P4.5 billion, will be divided into a five-year scheme.
The project, according to DPWH, will involve road opening/graveling, structures, road improvement/concreting including drainage structures, road rehabilitation/reconstruction and road widening from sub-standard to standard with drainage structures and construction of bridges.
“Funds for road right-of-way acquisition is also considered in this project,” said Borromeo in his letter.
The alternate route, according to Borromeo, will provide several developments.
“It may be observed that (the existing) Davao-Bukidnon Road has several sections prone to road slips and landslides which serves the road impassable at times and may even pose danger in case of sudden or unexpected slips or landslides,” Borromeo explained.
“This road will thereby provide continuous access towards Region X, at the same time, providing a road that would pass through communities and insurgency areas in Davao del Norte in order to address the peace and order condition in the province,” he added.
Accordingly, the project will also open to more opportunities in the exchange of goods and services between Davao City and Davao del Norte that will extend towards Bukidnon in the Northern Mindanao.
The project will also “provid(e) social uplifting to poor communities disconnected from socio-economic activities because of lack of road to give them mobility and connectivity,” Borromeo said.
The councilors passed on first reading the proposal in last Tuesday’s session.