Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Mina F. Pangandaman vowed that the agency will strive to help the Department of Transportation (DoTr) in realizing the implementations of Mindanao projects especially the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP).
Pangandaman conveyed the DBM’s full support as she joined President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PBBM) at the DOTr’s 125th Founding Anniversary celebration and signing ceremony of four Civil Works Contracts for the implementation of the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP) in Davao City on February 7, 2024.
“As a Maranao and a daughter of Mindanao, I pledge my wholehearted support in ensuring that all projects and programs geared towards Mindanao development will be realized. The DPTMP is a game-changing project that will transform the public transport landscape here in Davao and its nearby areas. It forms part of our whole-of-government approach to turn Mindanao from a land of promise into a land of promises fulfilled. Thus, in response to the call of our beloved President, the DBM commits to exert all the necessary help and efforts to pull this project to the finish line,” Pangandaman said in a statement.
DPTMP is a 672-kilometer bus route network, serving 29 interconnected routes with 400 articulated battery electric buses and more than 500 diesel buses.
As part of the Davao Bus initiative, four signed contracts have been made for the construction of bus terminals, depots, bus lanes, pedestrian lanes, and a driving school.
The project aims to provide a high-quality bus-based public transportation system to ensure mobility and accessibility for Davao City’s growing population and economy.
It is also projected to serve 800,000 passengers daily upon the completion of the project and generate around 3,000 jobs.
According to DOTr, partial operation of the DPTMP shall commence in the fourth quarter of 2025, while its full operation is expected in 2026.
In his speech, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said the DPTMP is a testament to his administration’s commitment to providing commuters with a “safe, reliable, and efficient” mass transportation system, and shall likewise give Davao City “a modern future with certainty.”
“Once completed this project will become the template for public transport systems in other cities in our country,” the President said.
Pangandaman also expressed support to DoTr in the implementation of the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP), which has been stalled due to a lack of funding.
“I believe that the Mindanao Railway Project must really push through. There is no better time to push it than now. The prioritization of this project translates to the prioritization of Mindanao. Patunay po ito na sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, hindi lang po kasali kundi prayoridad ang Mindanao,” Pangandaman said.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista bared on Tuesday that the long-planned MRP is facing challenges in the funding requirement after the government of the People’s Republic of China withdrew the loan deal with the Philippine government last year.
DoTr assured that it is pursuing the MRP which aims to improve mobility and connectivity in the entire island.
“Mindanao development is not just a part, but a priority of the BBM administration,” Pangandaman said.
Once completed, the MRP will connect Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Cotabato, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, and Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Phase 1 (Tagum-Davao-Digos) alone spans over a hundred kilometers long, with eight stations, and is expected to serve 122,000 passengers daily.