THE NATIONAL National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed the Record of Discussions on Friday, Nov. 10, effectively greenlighting the Metropolitan Davao project.
NEDA Secretary Dr. Arsenio Balisacan and JICA Philippines chief representative Sakamoto Takema signed the Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) ROD, which signals the formulation of a Comprehensive and Sustainable Urban Development Master Plan for Metropolitan Davao.
The master plan will ensure sustainable and balanced urban development in Metro Davao and immediate areas in the region, including land use planning, agri-ecotourism and urban greening, Davao Gulf coastal resource management, and joint service delivery of urban facilities and services (traffic, housing, solid waste and wastewater, digital connectivity, water, energy, public security, and flood control).
Balisacan said this project is an initiative and the first of its kind in Mindanao focuses on harnessing the economic potential of the metropolitan area and attaining a sustainable and economically sound region.
“This signing ceremony shows that we have made significant efforts to make sure that this project takes off. President Marcos, himself has indicated his support for Metropolitan Davao’s development by issuing a Special Presidential Authority for this project,” Balisacan said.
In his parting statement, Balisacan urged all stakeholders to extend support in formulating the master plan.
Meanwhile, Takema emphasized that the signing is not only a significant step forward but a beginning. “We must put all our hands together, to make this planning exercise truly successful and relevant to all of you,” he added.
Takema said that JICA will send experts from Japan to ensure the success of the project given that the government offices of the country must work hand in hand with them to achieve a brilliant Metro Davao.
NEDA XI regional director Maria Lourdes Lim said that the cost of deploying the team of experts along areas of cooperation including development planning, transport, traffic management, and flood control, formed the main bulk of expenses for this project.
In addition, as far as preparation of formulation is concerned, Balisacan said it could reach roughly P98-P100 million.
The Metro Davao will be the third largest metropolitan area in the country, covering 15 local government units (LGUs), namely the cities of Davao, Tagum, Panabo, Samal, Digos and Mati. It also includes the municipalities of Carmen, Maco, Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag, Sulop, Sta. Maria, and Malita, with Davao City as its premier city.
“The Metropolitan Davao is envisioned to become a highly industrialized and globally competitive metropolis with highly- skilled and productive human resources, both men and women, and diverse but cohesive communities living in a safe, climate resilient environment with modern and efficient infrastructure, sustained by good governance that promotes equal opportunities for all,” vision statement reads.
The Metropolitan Davao Development Coordinating Council of the Regional Development Council XI conceptualized the Metro Davao project which was institutionalized by virtue of the Republic Act 11708, or the “Act creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority or the MDDA”, approved by the former President Rodrigo Duterte on April 13, 2022.
Vice President Sara Duterte graced the ceremonial signing held at SMX Convention Center and was joined by the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Koshikawa Kazuhiko, JICA officials, RDC XI officials, and Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain.
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