THE HIGH Priority Bus System (HPBS) remains on track to be fully operational by October 2023 with the development of the 19-billion transport modernization project.
During the Sakay Ta Bai program on Monday morning over the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), Engr. Connie Macapayag, Engineer IV of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), said that they have finished the preconstruction phase of the 600-kilometer bus network.
“In general, we are on time. We are really working hard just to give the public our promise nga deliverable timelines,” Macapayag said.”We are still on our timelines.”
During the preconstruction work, Macapayag said that they have checked the lots where the bus terminals will be constructed. These were assessed by the designers to ensure that the design would be calamity-proof.
She added that two weeks ago, they conducted a civil survey to help plan the construction projects. They looked into possible road obstructions such as utility poles, together with the Engineers Office (CEO), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
There will be a total of six bus terminals to be constructed in different barangays. These will be located in Bunawan, Panacan Diversion, Buhangin, Calinan, Toril, and Catalunan Pequeño.
She added that the land acquisition is still in process as some landowners remain apprehensive and expressed fears about selling their lands. However, she mentioned that most of the landowners have expressed support for the project.
“When it comes to deliverables, we are publicly saying this project will be opened to the public in October of 2023,” she said.
The architectural layout of the infrastructure, including the bus terminal, admin building, and the motor pool is already completed, she added.
“More or less we are ready para sa construction,” she said.
Macapayag noted that while the public is getting impatient on when the project will be realized, there are procedures when it comes to building infrastructure. She said that they have to undergo the design engineering stage, feasibility study, and then the design engineering development before the construction will start.
The transportation official added that in between those stages is the bidding process to which contractor the project will be awarded.
“Naa ta sa design and development stage ug naa napod tay bidding procedure. Sa atong bidding procedure, naga prepare na atoang bidding consultant nga madownload na sa platform para sa government projects ginatawag natong PhilGEPS [We are now in the design and development stage and bidding procedure. In our bidding procedure, our bidding consultant is preparing to download the government projects on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System,” she said.
During the design stage, they took priority on the accessibility of the terminals, as well as the buses for the persons with disabilities (PWDs) to make it holistic. They considered putting ramps, walkalator, escalators, and reduce the terminal’s distance to the highway. They also made adjustments for the requests of the landowners who wish to operate using their property.
She further assured that the bus system is state-of-the-art with modern designs and is equipped with advanced technology features such as automated fare system, wireless networking technology, and bus tracking system patterned after the bus system in other countries such as Singapore, Hongkong, Australia, and United States.
“We are targeting February to March magsugod na ang clearing(we will start the clearing). So it would just be 15 months of construction so challenging pod sa atong contractor para ani nga short span of time lang (This will a big challenge for the contractors given the short period),” she further said.
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