BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Citing its legal and social implications, and potential negative impact on the environment, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has shot down a P39-Billion reclamation project that would develop over 200 hectares of the city’s coastal area into an industrial and commercial complex.
The Davao Coastline and Port Development Project was to be implemented under a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) between the Davao City Government and proponent Mega Harbour Port and Development Incorporated.
“Our 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,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement issued on July 25.
She said the decision was based on a “careful review and study” that considered the project’s “commercial viability, legal and social implications, and possible effects to the environment.”
The mayor said Mega Harbour was formally informed about the termination of the JVA on July 19.
Duterte-Carpio said the city government is ready for any legal action that Mega Harbour may bring up due to the termination of the JVA.
The City Government-Mega Harbour deal is covered by approved legal instruments.
The JVA was was signed on June 21, 2016 by then Davao City Mayor, now President Rodrigo Duterte, and Mega Harbour chairman Reghis Romero II, after being approved by the Davao City Council.
Duterte-Carpio is standing by the decision to terminate the JVA despite loss of potential economic benefits from the reclamation deal considered to be one of the biggest single investment by a company.
“I assure you, all Dabawenyos, that in coming up with this decision, the paramount consideration has been your welfare and the future of Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio said in the statement addressed to her constituents.
The Mega Harbour was to reclaim more than 200 hectares of the coastline from Agdao District up to the mounth of the Davao River in Bucana, to be developed into a complex that includes a commercial and industrial park, a tourism hub and international standard port and shipping container facilities.