BRIDGE OF DREAMS

Chinese gov’t assessing loan for Davao-Samal connector

The Chinese government is currently assessing a loan requested by the Philippine government for the construction of the Davao-Samal Bridge, according to a Chinese envoy. 

Consul General Li Lin of the People’s Republic of China Consulate General in Davao City told Edge Davao that the Philippines has already sent a request to China in December last year. 

Lin disclosed that last February 6, Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, met with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and reported to her that the Chinese government will make assessments of the request very quickly and is hopeful that early this year, a decision will finally come out in terms of loans from China for the construction of the bridge. 

“We are now making assessments of the request by the Philippine side, a request for a low interest loan. Concessional loan would be the best for the Philippines because the interest rate is really low and the amount of such loan from Chinese side to provide for other countries actually the sum is very limited. I hope that this can be realized. I am not sure of the total amount of the loan. China government will make assessment on government budget this is something like a congress and a senate in the Philippines,” Lin said.  

Lin is also hopeful that the ongoing dispute surrounding the construction of the Davao-Samal Bridge will be finally resolved for the development of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS).

“I have heard that some land owners in the IGaCoS side is not willing to give way and I also heard from the report that the governor of Davao del Norte himself is willing to discuss with the owner of the land,” Lin said.

It is expected that the road connector construction between two cities won’t be possible anytime soon after a family, whose property will be covered in the Davao-Samal Bridge’s road right of way, filed a written opposition to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Lin is optimistic that both sides, government and family, can negotiate, discuss and reach some consensus because the bridge will be beneficial to the people not only of IGaCoS but the entire Mindanao. 

“It’s a good project because I believe IGaCoS is a city that in the future will become a tourist attraction and to attract more tourists going to that place a bridge obviously will be very convenient and conducive for the future progress and development of the island,” he said. 

Apart from the Davao-Samal Bridge, Lin said the government of China will also respond to other requests of cooperation from the Philippines as this is part of the agreements on infrastructure development that President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi Jing Ping have agreed on.

“Since President Rodrigo Duterte became the President, the relationship between China and the Philippines have been improving and these two heads of states have reached a lot of consensus and they have jointly witnessed different agreements on infrastructure developments and we want these agreements to be implemented,” Lin said.