Chinese firm ‘more than ready’ to implement Samal-Davao bridge project

The China Road and Bridge Corp. is 'more than ready' to implement the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) project amid setbacks concerning right-of-way issues, a Chinese official said Friday night.

Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of Fujian Li Lin, who also served as the Chinese Consul General to Davao during the Duterte administration, said he was able to visit the site in March but shared that there was not much progress since the groundbreaking in 2022.

'I heard with regret that it was because of the availability of road rights (right of way). Hopefully, we can find ways to settle these kinds of concerns and problems,' he said.

'As far as I know, the Chinese company undertaking this project - China Road and Bridge - has been in Davao for a very long time. They are more than ready to implement that project.'

The construction of the PHP23.04 billion toll-free, four-lane bridge is being funded through China's Official Development Assistance, with the original completion target date set in 2027.

Once completed, the 3.98-km. bridge project crossing Pakiputan Strait will have landing points at the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, Island Garden City of Samal, and Davao City between the R. Castillo and the Daang Maharlika junction.

'We hope that both sides can really speed up our cooperation. Government of all levels and also people of different areas can also reach consensus as long as we prove that these projects are beneficial to the socioeconomic progress in the country,' Li said.

Poverty alleviation

Li was the keynote speaker at the 10th Manila Forum for Philippines - China Relations where he also shared China's measures that lifted nearly 800 million people out of poverty.

In China, he said, incentive policies were introduced to encourage young officials to change workplaces and contribute ideas to their work.

Financial assistance, he added, was also targeted and given to areas and projects that needed it most.

'While winning the battle against poverty domestically, China also stayed committed to strengthening international cooperation on poverty reduction,' Li said.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, also present at the event, said poverty alleviation is an area Manila and Beijing could further work on.

'China's success in poverty reduction proves that poverty is not synonymous to any specific country. It is an achievable task for China and any other developing country, including the Philippines,' he said.

'China's measures and experience have contributed to the global effort of poverty reduction and have been an important case to study.'

Source: Philippines News Agency