USD 1-billion loan OK'd for for Davao's ultra-modern bus transit system

Davao will soon have the country’s ultra-modern bus transit system as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) bagged a USD 1 billion (PHP 73.37-billion) loan for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTMP).

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Z. Duterte witnessed the signing of the landmark USD 1-billion financing package consisting of 3 loan agreements between the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and its co-financing partners, on July 1, 2023, to fund the DOTr’s DPTMP.

The DPTMP will feature the establishment of a high-quality bus-based public transportation system traversing across more than 100 kilometers of core routes and over 500 kilometers of feeder routes.

The project aims to transform Davao City’s public road transport system and introduce a new benchmark in public transport services, as well as provide a more comfortable, safe, reliable, and accessible commuting experience to the public.

President Marcos directed the DOTr to accomplish the project within the set timeline and ensure that it affects the least number of people and activities as possible.

DOTr gets USD 1B loan for Davao’s new mass transit system image

“[The DOTr must] work together with the concerned agencies in addressing all the different concerns such as funding requirement, the traffic, those households that will be affected,” the chief executive said.

The project, which is expected to serve more than 800,000 passengers daily, includes the construction of 3 terminals, 5 depots, 1 driving school, and around 1,000 bus stops.

18-meter articulated electric buses and regular diesel buses will likewise be utilized for the project, which is seen to start partial operations by the fourth quarter of 2024, and full operations by 2025.

Under the project, the DOTr will also launch the country’s biggest fleet electrification initiative, with nearly 400 electric buses to transport commuters once fully operational.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista underscored the DOTr’s commitment to advance the electric vehicle agenda further and help stir Davao Region’s economic activity.

“This P73.37-billion undertaking, which shall be shared by the national government, the local government of Davao City, and ADB, will provide enhanced mobility and accessibility in Davao and will surely help stir the region’s economy to even greater heights,” Secretary Bautista said.

ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, on the other hand, acknowledged that modern public transport is the bedrock of urban development as the project is the regional bank’s largest-ever road-based public transport project in the country.