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RDC XI: Public infra ventures in Davao ‘slow’

SOME OF Davao region’s infrastructure projects under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration are still waiting for investors, an official of the Regional Development Council (RDC) XI said. 

During an interview at the Habi at Kape forum on Jan. 10, Arturo Milan, RDC XI co-chairperson, said these flagship projects include the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP), Davao-Samal bridge, and the further development of the Franciso Bangoy International Airport.

“The earliest will be next year na ma-implement na ito. Hopefully, public investments in infrastructures will start to pour in already but the way I look at it, mukhang mabagal pa rin (it looks very slow),” Milan said. 

The Philippine government decided not to pursue the MRP, which was supposed to be financed by China’s official development assistance, as conveyed in a letter from the Department of Finance to the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Sept. 22, 2023. 

However, Milan mentioned countries interested in investing in MRP, such as South Korea, India, Spain, and Japan.  

Meanwhile, the Japan International Cooperation Agency is not “ready yet” to fund the MRP since they “don’t have background information about the project.”

He also highlighted the DPTMP, which was approved and signed between the government and the Asian Development Bank on a budget of P73.3 billion. To date, the project is still in its procurement stage. 

The Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) was also delayed due to “right-of-way issues.”

Milan also said the Davao International Airport’s sole proponent also withdrew its funding and the government seeks to “open it up again for unsolicited proposals.”

“When we say public investment, government spending on infra-projects. We still have flood-control projects and we are still waiting for possible funding, so andami pang gagawin,” he said. 

He also said amid the challenges in public investments, private investments are still of big help in the economy, such as the possible Monde Nissin plant in Bunawan, the installation of a third steel mill in Cagatungan, the future establishment of international brands like Landers and the Pulp and Paper factory, and the continuous progress of real property investments. 

“Hopefully, this will propel some economic activities, especially on job generation for all people in Davao,” he added. 



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