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ROUGH CUTS | Can Baste do a PRRD?

WE HAVE no doubt that two of the most prominent infrastructure projects of the outgoing Duterte administration in Davao City are the Toril-Matina Aplaya-Sta. Ana-Tibungco Coastal Highway, and the Bunawan-Tigatto-Matina Biao-Sirawan By-pass road with a tunnel component in it.

As is frequently reported by our former media colleague and now Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) XI spokesperson Dean Ortiz a substantial portion of the coastal road is already completed and in fact allowed for the public to stroll. On the other hand, the By-pass road surface portion is undergoing construction as well as the tunnel component is also being bored at both its northern and southern approaches.

Of course both big ticket projects already have its budget. But this does not mean that a possibility that their implementation will be “slowed” down under the new administration would not occur.  It all depends on what would be the next administration’s top priority.

Perhaps the only guaranty that there will be no stoppage in the project implementation is the apparent close team-up between Davaoena Vice President Sara Duterte and elected President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Also Marcos Jr. is not likely to forget that it was only President Rodrigo Duterte who had the guts to allow the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite the noisy protest of Aquino fanatics.

With this in mind we are positive the two major projects will be completed in due time. It is another story though as far as the Mindanao Railway Project which the Duterte administration tried its best to work out. Until now, the last month of Duterte at the helm of the national government, not a single railway track has been laid. We even doubt if the Department of Transportation has started the process of acquiring right-of-way for the rails’ route.

As to the Davao mainland-Samal Island City bridge, for now the project remains a monumental failure as far as settling issues affecting its implementation. But with its perspective posted on social media we can only dream as big as we can. Who knows the Marcos Jr. administration will do a Marcos Sr. when the latter maneuvered to stomp all opposition to the construction of the first Mactan-Cebu bridge sometime at the onset of the 1970s.


Talking of infrastructure one locally initiated project which could have given top-of-the-line facilities for the city’s athletes is the mothballed astrodome along C.P. Garcia Diversion Highway in the borders of Barangays Ma-a and Langub. The huge sports structure stands on a donated property by the Uy family of Tagum. The sports structure was started during the administration of then City Mayor Benjamin de Guzman.  The purpose of the donation revolved on one single condition; and that is to have a sophisticated sports facility on the donated land erected

Of course the city then, perhaps for lack of funds, or simply exercising a business-like strategy of borrowing money from the bank and pays the indebtedness from the income that the dome will derive, proceeded with the construction of the astrodome with money coming from the proceeds of a loan from Land Bank. The facility was about to be completed and was in fact ready for the installation of its air-conditioning system.

But it was overtaken by another election and then Mayor De Guzman was defeated by then come-backing mayoral candidate Rodrigo Duterte. The project was reviewed and new issues surfaced. The one with the most telling blow against the Astrodome project was its alleged sitting on an area where a fault line passes underneath. And there is no doubt that safety of people’s lives cannot be compromised. Of course there may have some other considerations in the project’s stoppage. And local politics could have been “it”.

Yet again, as to the issue of having constructed the multi-million infrastructure in an area with a fault-line underneath,  almost 20 years have passed and several strong earthquake incidents, the structure remains standing. Apparently the integrity of the building foundation appears to have held on. The reported fault had not given way despite the strong quakes.

With this in mind may be the new mayor will also have the guts to review the issues behind the stoppage of the project and do the necessary in order that the city-paid infrastructure can be put to use even if it will not be solely for sports purposes. After all, the donation’s purpose may still be renegotiated.

But can Sebastian do a Rodrigo. That is, go against certain opposition if the act will redound to the good of the majority? Let us to see.


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