By Antonio L. Colina IV
Davao City – The proposed Davao City-Samal bridge project will hasten the development of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), considered as the prime tourist destination in the Davao Region.
Davao del Norte Tourism Officer Noel Daquioag said, in an interview on Monday, that the new bridge will lower the cost of building infrastructures on the island that will be necessary to expedite the development.
He said there are already some willing investors, who are eager to put up accommodation facilities on the island but are apprehensive because of the cost needed to ship construction materials from Davao City.
Daquioag said progress in Samal Island has been dismal due to limits in the transportation sector since the Davao City-Samal route is serviced by only four ferryboats that bring vehicles to and from the city.
“The Davao-Samal bridge will hasten up everything. Progress in Samal had been not so fast because of the absence of the bridge because there’s ‘double-handling’ in the construction materials. We have interested investors in the tourism industry but they cannot put up the hotel easily because of the construction materials that they have to transport form Davao City and that makes it double,” he said.
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 11 director Maria Lourdes Lim said earlier that a grant worth P90 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been set aside to conduct a full feasibility study on the Davao City-Samal Bridge.
Lim, also vice chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 11, said that the feasibility study might be undertaken this year although the government has yet to decide on the group who will undertake the study. She said Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is negotiating with Hong Kong-based consultants.