WITH President Duterte duly sworn in, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) affiliated with the Ecowaste Coalition wants the government to review the proposed reclamation and port-development project to be undertaken by Mega Harbour Port.
The three-year Davao City coastline and port development project will involve the reclamation of 200 hectares of offshore site in two districts there. In a statement, Interface Development Interventions Executive Director Ann Fuentes said the city council did not conduct any public consultation for the project.
Since the NGO only learned about the project after the second reading, Fuentes asked for an opportunity to represent before the council.
Fuentes said the NGO feared the project would dislocate the residents of Isla Verde, an area of 123,201 square meters with an estimated population of 13,398.
This community is covered under Presidential Proclamation 85 signed by former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, stating that Isla Verde is a human-settlement site. In November 2015 a Swiss challenge was organized by the local government, but no other bid was submitted. The project was expected to face another Swiss challenge, since concerns about it were elevated to national government agencies.
The proposal will be submitted to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) after the city council passes an ordinance granting then-Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte the authority to sign a joint-venture agreement (JVA) with the proponent.
Earlier, the Davao City council blocked the bidding of the P19-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project under the previous administration’s Public-Private Partnership Program.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Davao issued a resolution stopping the auction due to “the irregular procedure, as well as the various questions raised against the Sasa Port Modernization project, now being bid out without prior consultation and expressed approval of the local government as provided for by the Local Government Code.” Asian Terminals Inc., International Container Terminal Services Inc., Bollore Africa Logistics, Singapore-based Portek International Pte. Ltd. and San Miguel Corp. were recently prequalified by the transportation department for the Davao Sasa Port project.