Mayor Duterte wants LRT project to roll faster – 2014 TOP BUSINESS STORIES

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte visited South Korea in October to meet with investors of the proposed construction of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Davao City.

joanna-balanzaApparently hot on the multi-billion peso project, Duterte took the trip to Korea even as a feasibility study is already ongoing on the multi-billion peso mass transport project seen as a cure to the city’s growing vehicular traffic woes.

The mayor earlier said an LRT is a dream project he wanted to build as he grappled with finding solutions to the city’s traffic jams.

 imagesDuterte left for South Korea on a self-financed, unofficial trip on October 27 to pursue talks with the investors and officials of the Korean Engineering Company (KEC).

The big-ticket mass transport system, the second in the country after the National Capital Region, may be built under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme funded by international lending agencies like the Asian Development Bank.

There is an ongoing feasibility study in Davao City to last up to March  commissioned by KEC on the proposed LRT initially planned to traverse a 50-km route from Dumoy in Toril in the south to the Davao International Airport in the north.

KEC proposed the project over projections of acute need for mass transport system in the next decade.

The city has a current population of 1.5 million; figures gathered by KEC in an earlier data-gathering mission showed about 50 million people commuted in year 2011.  

These public transport modes will become more unreliable in future with the city’s fast-paced economic development and ballooning population, according to the KEC.



A South Korean company has started its study on a Light Rail Transit (LRT), pushing nearer to reality hopes that Davao City, Mindanao’s premier city, would be the second metropolis to have a modern transport system after the National Capital Region (NCR).

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the Davao LRT would be smaller and not at the level of sophistication of the Manila LRT.

It would be a simple commuter train, said Duterte.

Duterte said the City Hall planning office would assess the study after its completion in six months.

He said the LRT would be at no cost to the local government with the facility to be constructed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme. The scheme would have the contractor build the LRT at its own expense, operate the facility for a number of years and then turn it over to the local government after it earns returns and recoup its investments.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korea Engineering and Construction (KEC) for the conduct of a feasibility study on the railway project.

On June 16 this year, the South Korean company, Korea Engineering and Construction (KEC), started the wheels rolling for the multi-million dollar project by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with City Hall on the conduct of the feasibility study to start in September and completed early 2015.

about-me1During the signing ceremony, Duterte said the city’s traffic woes would further worsen with the city’s economic boom and fast-rising population.

Based on data, KEC overseas manager Dae Kwon Jung showed that Davao City has an annual population growth of 2.7%, while the vehicle volume growth rate in the Davao Region is pegged at 7.1%.

If no cure is found for its traffic woes, the outdated transport system and road network of Davao City, as the center of commerce and trade of the Davao Region, was expected to absorb the brunt of the rise in vehicle population of the region, Jung said.

Racing to the future with a grim scenario, Jung said that without a sound transport system, year 2040 would be a nightmare for city residents when the population would have reached 40 million.

In his Power Point presentation, Jung placed premium on a 13.6km LRT system from Roxas Avenue starting at the  Ateneo de Davao University, passing Abreeza Mall in Bajada, SM Mall in Lanang then Mamay Road and the  Davao International Airport in Buhangin.

From 5,000 to 20,000 thousand passengers could be transported every hour by the monorail-type LRT running at 70kms per hour, said Jung.

Dream come true





       The Davao City’s  Light Trail Transit (LRT) is a dream come true nearly 20 years after Davao Region planners toyed with the idea.

In 1996, regional planners proposed the Davao Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project, a 60-km stretch from Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur to Panabo City in Davao del Norte, which was then seen as a shot at the moon with its gargantuan cost of P24 billion.

       The Davao Integrated Development Program (DIDP) then said that the project would be the most ambitious Davao region project for year 1996 to 2021.

            The Davao City LRT now being planned to be built by a Korean company, was also proposed by DIDP as a part of the project: a 10-kilometer stretch in down town.

DIDP said the Davao region LRT is a component of the Mindanao Railway System, an ambitious government program to link all provinces in Mindanao.




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