39B port development project onset

The City Council has allowed Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to sign an agreement between the city and the Mega Harbour Port Development, Inc. as the chosen bidder for the Davao Coastline and Port Development Project.

Except for Councilor Leah Librado-Yap, seventeen councilors voted yes for the ordinance authorizing Mayor Duterte to sign the Joint Venture Agreement with the Manila-based port operation firm during the session yesterday.

The 39-billion-peso coastline port development project aims to develop the 200 hectares of reclamation area from Brgy. Lapu-Lapu, Agdao to Brgy. Bucana.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap, the sole councilor who disagreed on the ordinance, said the developers should ensure the relocation of the more than 40,000 settlers of the area affected by the project.

“I voted no because I still have to see the implementation of the project. I don’t want to compromise those who will lose their homes although it is in the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) that we can legally demand from the developer a relocation. But I still have to see it,” said Librado-Yap.

She said the reason for the delay of the ordinance’s approval was because she insisted on incorporating a provision in the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) on the relocation of the affected families.

Davao City Planning and Development Office Head Marcelino Escalada assured during last week’s session that there will be a relocation site for the households in the subject area that will be displaced because of the project.

Escalada promised their office will submit a traffic assessment and report on the possible environmental impact of the project.

Librado said she and the planning have agreed to include in the relocation those settlers who have not passed census tagging.

“It is now provided in the amended version of the JVA and I and Escala have also agreed to relocate all settlers regardless of qualifying at census-tagging,” she said.

The Committee on Trade and Industry Chair Jimmy Dureza said about 15,000 workers are needed to begin the construction.

| Published in 105.9 Balita FM Facebook page: 39B port development project onset, April 13, 2016

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