DAVAO CITY – An official of the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) here said that the city government has set two conditions for the Sasa Port modernization project which include the acquisition of lands and the relocation of the barangay hall of Sasa.
CPDO Plans and Programs Division chief Engr. Jose Froilan Rigor said “the stand of the city is that since it’s going to be a PPP (public-private partnership) project, then the lands within the Sasa property should be acquired based on the current market value.”
“The barangay hall of Sasa which will also be affected by the expansion of the Sasa Port should also be relocated and constructed with a new building,” he added.
Rigor said that the proponent agreed with those conditions which elevated the project to the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC).
Meanwhile, local residents who could be asked to relocate because of the proposed expansion oppose the modernization plan under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP).
“If you look at Sasa now there are some placards there that they don’t want the Sasa modernization,” Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said.
Dayanghirang also added that the project will have adverse effects on taxpayers, the business sector and consumers due to its huge cost.
“It will be too costly to the Filipino taxpayers. It will be too costly to the port users, particularly the business sector. It will be too costly to the Davaoeños and other consumers as cost of transport would be passed on to them,” he added.
The project cost increased to 17 billion compared to the study by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) which would only cost 4.5 billion.
Moreover, members of the city council said that they were not consulted for this project.
Councilor Diosdado Mahipus said that this project is supposed to be coordinated with the Local Government Unit (LGU).
“As far as I am to recall, there has been no consultation between the present council and that of the PPA regarding this mammoth project in Sasa,” Mahipus said.
He also said that the reason for prior consultation between the Local and National Government is because the residents of the city are the ones affected by such projects.
“The local residents are now protesting. Why? Because we do not really know what’s going to happen. How many people will be dislocated? How many structures that are permanently build in Sasa will be removed? That we don’t even know,” Mahipus said.
“I do not know if this is intentional on the part of the National Government, but we just have to remind them that under the present autonomy laws that we have, the local government especially the mayor, vice mayor and the councilors should be consulted about these projects initiated by the National Government,” he added.
Sasa Port modernization is one of the 12 infrastructure projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in October 2014. (davaotoday.com)