THE PROPOSED Metro Davao area under the House of Representatives’ approved bill covers 10 towns and cities (in green and orange). — SENATE COMMITTEE HEARING SCREEN CAPTURE

THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) Davao Region office has started discussions with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for assistance in finalizing the urban masterplan for the Metro Davao area.  

In a statement, NEDA-Davao said they are tapping the Japanese agency’s help as the metro plan aims to expand on an ongoing JICA-supported program for the regional center Davao City.  

The proposed Metro Davao area initially covers 10 local governments spanning Tagum City in Davao del Norte and Digos City in Davao del Sur with Davao City in the center and Samal off the mainland. There is a pending proposal to include four other towns in Davao del Sur.  

NEDA-Davao said JICA Philippines representatives, in a meeting last week,  deemed it “timely” to firm up the Metro Davao masterplan given progress on the proposed law creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority.  

The Senate Committee on Local Government is currently consolidating several related bills, including the approved version of the House of Representatives. The consolidated version will be submitted to the House plenary for deliberation.   

The urban development masterplan for Metro Davao will cover land use planning, agri-ecotourism and urban greening, Davao Gulf coastal resource management, and joint delivery of urban facilities and services such as transport and solid waste and wastewater management, among others.   

The current JICA program for Davao covers projects relating to the city’s  urban infrastructure development plan, including capacity-building, transportation, road, drainage, and solid waste management. — MSJ