The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is currently preparing specialize equipment for use on the Davao twin tunnels, which are a significant component of the 45.5-kilometer Davao City bypass road project in Southern Mindanao.
Sec. Mark Villar said in a statement on Sunday (Sept. 12) that the arrival of the equipment on-site in Davao City signals increased excavation activities for the tunnel’s north and south portals in the coming days.
Villar stated that the entire bypass road project, which will begin in Brgy. Sirawan, Toril, Davao City and end in Brgy. J.P. Laurel, Panabo City, will improve transportation logistics in the Davao Region.
Meanwhile, Emil Sadain, DPWH Usec. for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, stated that the first blast using a drill machine to excavate two (2)-tube mountain tunnels is scheduled for the early fourth quarter of 2021.
Sadain stated in his report to Villar that the contractor is almost finished with their tunnel diggers, and that the DPWH UPMO team is eagerly awaiting the commissioning of tunneling equipment to excavate the 2.3-kilometer mountain tunnel.
The road project is funded by the Government of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) with a Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) Loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under Loan Agreement Nos. PH-P261 and PH-P273 signed in June 2020.
As the project progresses, the DPWH intends to employ more local labor and generate job opportunities for the villages along the alignment, according to Undersecretary Sadain.
The project is also planned to provide Filipino engineers and trained workers with new tunneling technological knowledge.