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Pet projects for Davao keep Mayor Sara from seeking Senate seat

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Davao City—-  The city government’s big-ticket projects are the reasons why Mayor Sara Duterte will seek re-election rather than a Senate seat in the 2019 mid-term elections.

Mayor Sara spelled out her big plans for the city that have hindered her to go national in her State of the City Address (SOCA) on Tuesday during the regular session of the city council.

The projects include the multi-million Davao-Samal Bridge connector, the High Priority Bus System (HPBS), coastal road and bridges, and other city building projects.

Sara, who has been rumored to be eyeing a Senate seat, said a three-year term is too short for her to accomplish her dreams for the city.

First on her list is the PHP3.64 billion HPBS project under the city government’s Comprehensive Transportation and Traffic Management Plan funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The ADB, in coordination with the city government of Davao, had designed the project that includes a bus terminal, bus stops, and lighting.

HPBS involves the fielding of 100-capacity buses.

The presidential daughter said the city is finalizing the implementation of the plan, with five identified routes.

It is now under discussion with the Land Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and private bus companies, particularly for testing the initial routes.

“I am not optimistic it will be implemented by December, but it will happen in 2019,” she said in a press conference on the sidelines of the SOCA.

The lady mayor said she is also pushing for the Davao-Samal Bridge connector, extension of the Diversion Road, Davao River Boulevard, and the Talomo Viaduct. All are identified in the Infrastructure Modernization for Davao or IM4DVO, which serves as a guide in the city’s pursuit for a better city.

Also in the pipeline are the construction of city government offices, school facilities, and tourism-related projects.

Kulang ang three years. Gusto nako ug fresh mandate kung mosugot ang mga taga-Davao (Three years is short. I want a fresh mandate if Dabawenyos will allow me),” she told reporters.

The projects may not be completed by 2022, but at least the projects will be started during her term, she said.

Sara earlier said she had not changed her mind about not running for the Senate despite making it to the top choices for senatorial bets in latest poll surveys.

She was also one of the top choices among 184 members of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the senatorial slate survey.

Sara said she has chosen her running mate in the 2019 mid-term elections, but the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) local slate is yet to be finalized. (PNA)

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