By Maya M. Padillo, Correspondent

Toril named as secondary growth area of Davao City

Posted on October 29, 2015

DAVAO CITY -- Toril, a still largely rustic area in the southern side with pockets of commercial development, has been identified as the secondary growth area of Davao City based on the city's zoning ordinance.

Councilor Bernie E. Al-ag, chair of the committee on rules and privileges, said the designation is in line with the local government's strategy to bring development outside of the existing economic center.

"We want to decentralize Davao City. If we will make it similar to Manila where all are centralized, we will be saturated here," Mr. Al-ag said.

The councilor said Toril is ready to handle growth with the existing road infrastructure, commercial establishments and sub-offices of some national government agencies such as the Social Security System and Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

"It's (like building) a city within a city. We discourage people to go in the downtown area for their economic activity," he said.

Two new malls have recently been opened in Toril, which is also home to the popular tourist destination Eden Nature Park and Resort where the city also plans to develop a tourism-light industries economic zone in the surrounding area.

A five-hectare food terminal is also under construction in Toril, which is intended to serve as a centralized trading hub for the city's farmers.

"Farmers can bring all their products to the food terminal and sell it directly to the dealers and market vendors to increase their income and profit," Mr. Al-ag said.

The city's current agricultural trading center is Bankerohan market, which is located in the downtown area.

The Department of Agriculture is providing a P70-million fund for the construction of the new complex, which will have a trading area and a warehouse building with cold storage.

"Eventually after 20 years, if the farmers can form an organization, the food terminal will be turned over to them and will be managed by them," Mr. Al-ag said.

The City Economic Enterprise office will initially manage the facility.

Plans are also underway to rehabilitate the existing public gym in Toril

"Right now, through the national government and through Congressman Isidro (T.) Ungab (Davao City 3rd District), the old gym will be re-developed into an airconditioned gym," Mr. Al-ag said.

Toril has also received an employment boost with the opening of the new coal-fired power plant of Therma South, Inc., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., which is located in the city's southern boundary with Sta. Cruz town, Davao del Sur.