DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio decided to terminate the Mega Harbour project, a joint venture agreement signed by her father, then city mayor and now President, Rodrigo Duterte with the Mega Harbour Port and Development Incorporated.
In a statement on Tuesday, the city mayor said they have informed the Mega Harbour Port and Development Corporation on July 19, that the city will not proceed with the Davao Coastline and Development Project.
“The decision came after about more that a year of careful review and study of the available documents and after weighing out the intentions of the project against its commercial viability, legal and social implications, and the project’s possible effects to the environment,” Duterte-Carpio said.
She said the decision to terminate the joint venture agreement “is coupled with a resolve that Davao City can really move forward and answer the call of economic growth by implementing highly sustainable projects, both commercially and environmentally.”
“We understand that there are various legal repercussions ancillary to this decision and the Davao City Government is ready to answer them in the proper forum,” she added.
The P39-billion project covers the areas from Sta. Ana Port to Bucana. The project involves reclamation for the development of a 200-hectare mixed-use complex, including an international port, commercial, residential and government office components.
Environmentalists lauded the move of the city government.
In an interview with Davao Today, Dr. Jean Lindo, co-chairperson of Panalipdan Mindanao said the reclamation project will only create more problems for the city in the long run.
“Reclamation projects are a threat to food security, especially to communities dependent on the target coastline. Food source is dependent on the coastal biodiversity for the communities living there,” Lindo said.
“We hope no projects similar to Mega Harbour will come in,” she added.
Chinkie Peliño-Golle of the Davao-based Initiatives for Development Interventions said they too, have always been apprehensive of the possible environmental and social impacts of the project.
“That is why we have been pushing for the comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment,” she said.
Peliño-Golle added that they admire Duterte-Carpio for her brave decision in favor of her principles.
“Her preference for the environmental and social protection is admirable. I am sure thought that due diligence has been done and the contract has been found to be not benefiting the majority of the Davaoeños,” she added. (davaotoday.com)