The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now preparing documentary requirements for the funding of the Bucana Bridge which is part of the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project.
City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) head Ivan Chin Cortez disclosed this latest development on the project. Cortez hinted that the frontrunners as financing partner are China Eximbank and the Asia Development Bank (ADB). There are also other banks being considered to finance the project.
“Commitments and intent to finance are expected to come from financing institution. The Department of Finance (DOF) will negotiate and once agreements are finalized, funds will be downloaded to DPWH for implementation. As a rule of thumb, the government will go for the lowest interest offer at the time of scouting,” Cortez told Edge Davao.
Cortez added that the processing time of financing will also be a factor in the decision because a longer time of processing may render project estimates inaccurate by the time of implementation due to inflation. He said it is the directive of the DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to fast track implementation of big ticket projects.
The project initiation proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of State by China International Development Cooperation Agency. The implementation agreement for Detailed Engineering Design (DED) and civil works was already finalized.
The Bucana Bridge project has a timeline of 2020 to 2023. It is also among the topics discussed during the meeting between Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier this month.
Li Lin, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao, is hopeful that construction of the bridge will start this year.
“Bucana Bridge is a Chinese government grant and the feasibility study is already finished and normally should be in the DPWH now. The budget will be finalized if both governments (Davao City and the Chinese government) will reach an agreement because we have to take many things into considerations,” Lin said in an interview.
The Davao City Coastal Bypass Road Project, with a total length of 18.21-km including the 540 linear meters and four-lanes Bucana Bridge will traverse from the area of Bago Aplaya, Brgy. Talomo, Punta Dumalag, Tulip Drive, Manuel Roxas Avenue to Sta. Ana Wharf Road and R. Castillo Street as the end point of the project alignment.
The project will function as diversion and bypass road and roadway grade separators or flyover for the existing road network that are already experiencing heavy traffic congestion problem and would also have broader or indirect road influence areas as they also function and caters to inter-provincial and regional transport movements and vehicular flows.
With a project cost of P28.265 billion wherein P3.11 billion is for Bucana Bridge through a China government grant, Davao Coastal Bypass Project is among the three projects that was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) last December 20, 2019.
Cortez said the phase being implemented now for the coastal project is the Punta Dumalag area leading to Bucana area. He added that the budgeting for the right of way (ROW) was based on the previous census tagging done in the area, which considers the fair market value of the property and the structures that will be affected.
Cortez said he can’t give exact number for the affected residents but said the ROW cost is already included in the project.
The whole project has a timeline of 2017 to 2023.