The preliminary technical studies for the reclamation, construction and development of a modern port city in this urban center’s foreshore area are now complete.
Project proponent and developer Mega Harbour Port and Development Inc. has completed all the geotechnical, parcellary, bathymetric, baseline traffic, socioeconomic, environmental and coastal engineering surveys of the areas in and around the prospective 200-hectare site where the port city will be built.
Except for the securing of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC), which is now being processed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Environment Management Bureau, all the preliminary studies are now completed, less than a year since the signing of the agreement on the Davao Coastline and Port Development Project on June 21, 2016 by then Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and Mega Harbour chairman Reghis M. Romero II.
“The issuance of the ECC by the DENR-EMB will serve as the greenlight for the start of Mega Harbour’s formulation and design of the integrated and detailed engineering masterplan, where the results of all the preliminary studies shall be factored in,” Romero said.
The latest to be completed, according to Romero, were the coastal engineering survey and the environmental study.
“The coastal engineering survey involved nearshore oceanography, marine geology, behavioral assessment of waves and measurements of the pressure of flashing, or the impact of water current when it hits the shore,” Romero pointed out.
”On the other hand, the environmental study takes into account the results of all the technical studies put together,” Romero added.
He said the results of all the various preliminary studies were encouraging.
“Nothing goes adversely beyond the norm, except for the abrupt steepening of the slope of the sea bed, which can raise the cost of reclamation significantly because of the length of concrete piles that it entails and various other structural requirements . There are also sea grass and corrals in the area near the Sta. Ana wharf, which we will have to avoid by moving the project site further southward,” Romero explained.
He attributed the generally positive results of the studies to the nature of the project site, being shielded by the Samal Island from strong ocean currents that get through the Davao Gulf.
“The eastern flank of Davao del Sur and the western side of Davao Oriental surrounding the gulf also generate a moderating effect on ocean waves,” Romero said.
“As such, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte, will immediately benefit from the project because of their natural geographic access to this emerging world-class port, both by land and by sea,” Romero pointed out.
He described the Davao Gulf as a natural harbor and sanctuary even for large inter-ocean vessels because of its wide mouth but long cylindrical shape resembling a womb. The (Davao) gulf is actually much bigger than the Manila Bay, yet having an almost the same characteristics but with a lot less pollution and vulnerability to storms.
“Another blessing is the coastal highway project of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) to which the port city shall be linked by three bridges. Running parallel to the highway, the port city itself will have to be divided into three ‘islands’ to provide an opening from the coast to the sea. The three reclaimed islands will connect to each other also by bridges,” Romero said, stressing the importance of the preliminary studies.
“All (the results of the studies) will be factored in during the formulation and design of the integrated and detailed engineering masterplan,” Romero added.
Aside from reclaiming and constructing the port city, Mega Harbour will also implement an onsite infrastructure development in the coastal communities of Poblacion and Agdao districts up to Barangay Bukana, which lie parallel to the project across the sea.
This social component of the project will not entail relocation since it does not involve the construction of housing facilities.
To be undertaken are improvements of infrastructure facilities for power and water supply connections, flood control system, pockets of recreational and commercial zones, sanitation centers, obstruction-free main roads, and other calamity-mitigating measures. #