Construction ng Davao-Samal Island bridge sisimulan na
DURIAN SHAKE - Edith R. Regalado (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

Narito ang isang sitwasyon sa inaabangang construction ng Samal Island-Davao City bridge na sisimulan na sa darating na Enero:

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) shall start the construction of the much-awai-ted Samal Island-Davao City (SIDC) Connector  project, a bridge that would connect  the Island Garden City of Samal to the mainland in Davao City.

The DPWH has announced the start of the project that has long been anticipated by residents of both Samal Island and Davao City and its environs.

At present, Samal Island could be accessed by a ferry boat and a passenger pumpboat that criss-cross the waters between them for a mere five to 10 minutes.

However, two families have  questioned the environmental impact of the proposed  construction of the said bridge without complying with all the requirements under the law.

Atty. Ramon Edison Batacan, of the BMV Law Firm here representing the Rodriguez and Lucas families of Samal Island, stressed there is a need for the  DPWH to first comply with all the corresponding requirements before the proposed bridge connecting Davao City mainland and Samal Island shall start construction reportedly by January next year.

Batacan likewise said  that the Rodriguez family will even be forced to file a Writ of Kalikasan and administrative cases should the DPWH push through with the construction of the much-touted Davao-Samal bridge without the complying with the necessary requirements as mandated by law especially since Samal Island in itself has been declared as   Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve and the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 2152 Series of 1981.

Batacan pointed out that the Rodriguez family, who owns Paradise Island and Beach Resort and the Lucas family that also owns Costa Marina Beach Resort in Samal are both supportive of the long-anticipated bridge project but that they also want to ensure a successful implementation by taking into full consideration the compliance with all the mandatory legal, ecological and environmental requirements of the law.

The lawyer said it is a  matter of doing the Samal-Davao bridge project right by following the requirements.

Batacan said that the  Rodriguezes have even requested DPWH for the re-alignment in view of its adverse environmental impacts. They even offered the land adjacent to the old shipyard, now Bridgeport-a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA-d recommended landing site to DPWH as it is the cheapest, shortest, and least environmentally burdensome alignment.

“I’d like to emphasize for fear of being misunderstood that the Rodriguez and Lucas families are not oppose to the implementation of the SIDC project. They are supportive of the project it being part of the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration,” Batacan said.

And as a show of support, the two familes are even willing to donate a piece of property near the old shipyard in Samal at less cost to the government and this alone is one factor to consider to take a second look at the proposed alignment, Batacan further said.

“Why is there seeming haste here? DPWH is relentless in its PR campaign, left and right together with Arup and both are not giving the correct and bigger picture,” Batacan said, adding that the necessary DPWH should also comply with the requirements like getting an environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

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