Metropolitan Davao aims to be a model resilient, inclusive, and sustainable region through an urban master plan project with JICA
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) are eyeing to promote Metropolitan Davao’s comprehensive and sustainable development through a master plan that balances urban development, environment conservation, living standard, and economic growth.
The master plan, which covers the period 2025 to 2045, will allow “Metro Davao” to identify development priorities such as agri-ecotourism, urban greening, public-private partnership, and infrastructure development, among others.
To officially commence the project, JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema and NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan signed a Record of Discussions (R/D) in Davao City on November 10th in the presence of Her Excellency Vice President Sara Zimmerman Duterte and His Excellency Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, along with various local chief executives and representatives from local government units (LGUs) and Regional Development Council (RDC) members of Metro Davao.
The said cooperation will be implemented to support the objectives of the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority (MDDA), created by virtue of Republic Act No. 11708 or the “MDDA Act”. The law established the special development and administrative region to be known as Metropolitan Davao, which consists of six cities and nine municipalities, namely: Davao City, the Cities of Panabo, Tagum, and the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) in Davao del Norte; the City of Digos in Davao del Sur; the City of Mati in Davao Oriental; and the Municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Hagonoy, Padada, Malalag, and Sulop in Davao del Sur, Carmen in Davao del Norte, Maco in Davao de Oro, and Malita and Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental.
“Today’s signing event is a significant step forward. However, this is just the beginning, and we must put all our hands together to make this planning exercise truly successful and relevant to all of you (in Metropolitan Davao). For the success of this project, JICA will send our experts from Japan, and it is essential that your good offices and the JICA experts will form and work as one team. I am quite sure that we can see the brilliant future of Metropolitan Davao, which is livable, smart, efficient, peaceful, economically viable, environmentally-sound, resilient and inclusive,” said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema during the signing of the R/D for the project.
When implemented, the master plan will benefit around 5 million people in Metropolitan Davao and indirectly benefit the rest of Mindanao.
The preparation of the master plan, SAKAMOTO added, is a clear and strong message and commitment of JICA to the development of Mindanao.
Already, JICA has been working closely with Davao and other parts of Mindanao through various cooperation, including the Davao City Bypass Construction Project which features the first long-distance mountain tunnel in the Philippines, Flood Control and Drainage Improvement in Davao, Wastewater Management Master Plan in Davao, Flood Risk Management for Cagayan de Oro, Central Mindanao High Standard Highway, Road Network Development in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao, and Capacity Development Project for Bangsamoro, among others.
The signing of this R/D took place shortly after the successful visit of Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio the previous week, where he stated to jointly create a new era of sustainable and prosperous development based on key concepts such as “Heart-to-Heart Ties” and “Golden Friendship, Golden Opportunities.” In this regard, SAKAMOTO said “Our project is truly a symbol of enormous opportunity and our heart-to-heart friendship.”