MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday led the groundbreaking ceremony of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) bridge project, signifying the start of its construction.
About 4 kilometers long, the bridge will connect the Samal Circumferential Road in the Island Garden City of Samal to the R. Castillo –Daang Maharlika junction in Davao City.
"Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as enhance its residents' access to employment, education, and other social services," Marcos said in his speech.
"It will provide easier access to tourism spots and ensure the speedy recuperation from the setbacks brought about by the pandemic. I also believe that through this project we will further improve the peace and order situation in the area as well as ensure the faster and more efficient aid distribution during times of calamities," he added.
Marcos also thanked the Chinese government for its financial support for the project, describing China as an "active and dependable partner" of the Philippine government's infrastructure program.
The 4-lane SIDC bridge is funded with a $350-million (around P20.3 billion) loan that the country secured from the Chinese government. The loan will cover 90 percent of the project cost.
Engineering company China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) was tapped to build the bridge.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said Beijing is ready to work with Manila to strengthen bilateral ties and “further cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, energy and people-to-people exchange.”
“I hope both sides could join hands to secure on-time and quality completion of the project. The bridge will be, as we believe, a new passage to a better livelihood of the local people, a new landmark of the region of Davao, and a new milestone of the China-Philippines friendship,” the envoy said.
Marcos also acknowledged the Duterte administration, which started the project.
Upon its expected completion in 2027, the SIDC bridge "is expected to shorten travel time from Davao City to Samal from around 30 minutes via ferry to merely 5 minutes," Malacañang earlier said in a statement.
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