The construction of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) bridge will help develop the region’s economic potential and bolster access of Davaoeños to social services, President Ferdinand R. Marcos said Thursday.
Marcos made this remark after leading the lowering of the time capsule to signal the start of construction of the bridge, which will connect the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) in Davao del Norte to Davao City.
“Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as enhance its residents’ access to employment, education, and other social services,” said Marcos.
Marcos expressed his gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China for being an “active member and have always been a dependable partner” in this infrastructure program.
“This bridge is a testament to the strong and ever-growing foundation of the bilateral relations and economic cooperation between us,” said Marcos.
The chief executive said the bridge, once operational, could accommodate up to 25,000 vehicles daily and reduce travel time between Samal and Davao City from 50 minutes via ferry to just 4.5 minutes.
The four-lane bridge project, which has an estimated total cost of PHP23.04 billion, has a length of 3.98 kilometers, including ramps in Davao City and a 24-meter wide grade road and roundabout in Samal Circumferential Road.
The Davao-Samal bridge will be built in five years, with its expected completion in 2027.
The bridge will be funded through a loan agreement worth PHP 18.67 billion entered into between the Philippines and China.
“In 2027, this bridge will surely ease the convenience of travel and transport, bringing forth gainful opportunities for many of our people by providing a link between far-flung areas and economic centers, thereby ensuring smoother mobility of people and goods,” the President said.
The national government agencies that joined the chief executive in the event include the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Regional Development Council-Davao (RDC).
After the groundbreaking activity, the President will lead the distribution of government aid at the DPWH regional office in Panacan, Davao City.
The assistance will come from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of Agriculture (DA).
The President will also meet with the uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) at its headquarters located at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario, also in Panacan, Davao City.
Among those who joined Marcos in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Davao-Samal bridge are Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. “Baste” Duterte, and Island Garden City of Samal Mayor Al David T. Uy. (PIA / OPS)