Davao City backs out of Mega Harbour Project
Subscribe Now July 27, 2017 at 08:37am
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday, July 25, said in a statement that the decision came after over a year of careful review and study of the P39-billion project.
She said the project’s commercial viability, legal and social implications, and possible effects to the environment were considered prior the decision.
The proponent company, Duterte-Carpio said, was formally informed last July 19.
“Our decision to terminate the joint venture agreement (JVA) is coupled with a resolve that Davao City can really move forward and answer the call of economic growth by implementing highly sustainable projects, both commercially and environmentally,” she said.
She added that this action could bring various legal repercussions, but she is ready to face these.
The City Government, she said, is ready to respond to any question the decision may lead in the proper forum.
“I assure you, all Dabawenyos, that in coming up with this decision, the paramount consideration has been your welfare and the future of Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She, however, did not categorically state what made her decide to back out.
The JVA for the project was inked last June 21, 2016 by then Davao City Mayor, now President Rodrigo Duterte and Chairman Reghis Romero II, of Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc.
It can be recalled that Duterte-Carpio announced publicly in April that she was averse to the multi-billion project but acknowledged that there are things she should consider first as a mayor.
“Personally, I do not like the reclamation in the area, but your personal wants differ from what you should do as mayor. I am for something that can bring greater good to Davao City, that is what should be done," she said earlier.
In April, reports had been circulating that the mayor vetoed the JVA, she immediately denied such allegations.
The Interface Development Interventions (Idis) executive director Chinkie Golle told SunStar Davao that the decision is a welcome development.
“I am sure that Mayor Inday has thought about this carefully. IDIS has always been apprehensive of the possible environmental and social impacts of this proposed project that is why we've been pushing for the comprehensive environmental and social impacts assessment,” Golle said.
She added that she admires the mayor’s brave decision in favor for the environmental and social protection.
The project, even before, has made decision makers and leaders here divided. Councilor Leah Librado-Yap said earlier that she is against the approval of the reclamation project over claims that residents living in the affected area would be displaced.
“I still voted no because I still want to see the implementation of this particular project. I don’t want to compromise those who will lose their homes,” Librado said in a report.
The project proponent has yet to release its official statement. Sun Star Davao tried to call the Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc., however, no response has been received as of writing.
The project which is targeted to develop 214 hectares of coastline will be 40 meters away from the coast stretching from Agdao to Bucana will develop four-island projects aims to benefit around 2,500 residents of the city’s coastlines. It will have a port facility, industrial park, a commercial and financial center, a BPO complex and a tourism hub.
At least 70 hectares will be developed into a port that will cater to both international and domestic containers.
Based on the project profile of the Davao City Coastline and Port Development Project, the project aimed to make an economic turn-around and provide sufficient and basic livelihood for marginalized people. The Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc. will fund the project, which is expected to generate employment, create a new cityscape and make it highly competitive. Green Urbanism is also an overriding concept in the development.
Last April, Mega Harbour chairman Reghis Romero II said that they already completed all the geotechnical, parcellary, bathymetric, baseline traffic, socioeconomic, environmental and coastal engineering surveys of the areas in and around the prospective 200-hectare site.
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