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Marcos: In wake of Davao floods, infra must respond to present needs

Following floods and landslides that hit Davao region, President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the country’s infrastructure should respond to the needs of the present times.

Marcos shared this sentiment during the ceremonial signing of the civil works contracts for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project.

''My instructions concerning projects across the board, all over the country, are very clear: Deliver on time, on spec, and on budget,'' Marcos said in his speech.

''There is another instruction to all agencies that I need to have fully complied with, of which the recent flooding in Mindanao has emphatically shown. The infrastructure we are building must not only wipe out arrears of the past, but must respond to the needs of the present, and anticipate circumstances in the future,'' he added.

Marcos noted that amid the construction of infrastructures, ''we must build while bearing in mind the worst the future will bring, of the earth getting hotter, getting wetter, and not on outdated assumptions that no longer apply.''

He pointed out that the government could not build climate-resistant infrastructure ''for our children based on the rainfall and temperature records during our parents’ time.''

Assessment of public infrastructures

In a separate situation briefing, Marcos directed concerned agencies to complete the assessment of public infrastructures that were damaged by the shear line and low pressure area in the region.

He said the assessment would be the basis for the funding of the repairs and rehabilitation efforts of the infrastructures that were destroyed.

“All of the other damages will still have to assess and then we will then have to make a plan, get it funded,” Marcos said.

Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Montejo Gonzaga, for her part, said that there was already more than P3.6 billion worth of damage for local and national roads, bridges and flood control infrastructure in the province.

Gonzaga also presented the required budget for the repair and rehabilitation of these infrastructures which costs P8.2 billion—P2.181 billion for roads, P2.138 billion for bridges, and P3.889 billion for revetment.

The President also vowed to continue developing Davao, including providing better public transport in the region.

Marcos said the project is ''more than bringing people and their products to their destinations safe and sound,'' adding that this should be viewed as a ''major vehicle'' that will bring Davao residents to a better tomorrow.

''This is more than just the Ceremonial Signing for the Civil Works Contracts for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project or the DPTMP. It is a strong reaffirmation of our commitment to develop the Davao Region,'' Marcos said.

''It is a demonstration of our resolve to deliver what people in all regions deserve: a mass transportation system that can move commuters and commerce efficiently,'' Marcos added.

The president said the project would become the template for public transport systems in other cities in the country.

''As a mass transport system, this people mover will provide faster and more comfortable commutes whilst decongesting streets filled with private vehicles, and improve road traffic,'' he said.

The DPTMP is a bus-based public transport system which aims at enhancing the mobility and accessibility for commuters in Davao City, anchored on the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

According to the Department of Transportation, it will serve as the first network solution in the country designed to address urban congestion and mobility challenges as well as to provide a benchmark for public transit projects in neighboring cities. 

It is projected to be fully operational by 2026, traversing 29 interconnected routes that cover a total length of 672 kilometers.—RF/RSJ, GMA Integrated News