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Davao City, Philippines

Ateneo de Davao heaves sigh of relief as flyover project cancelled

January 21, 2021 - Thursday 6:01 PM by PIA

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DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- In the battle of concrete versus trees, the trees won.   

The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in a press statement has expressed deep gratitude and sense of relief as the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) terminated the proposed Ma-a Flyover Project which would have cut 21 trees along ADDU’S Matina Campus. 

DPWH-XI spokesperson Dean Ortiz on a teleconference held Tuesday (Jan. 19) announced that they are cancelling the P1-billion flyover project mainly due to resistance from various groups, which included Ateneo de Davao alongside business sector and environmental groups. 

“We cannot emphasize enough how much we value our trees in the city, open and green space for clean air, urban heat and climate change, especially and particularly in this age of pandemic when public health, especially of our children is topmost priority,” reads the University statement which was released on January. 20, 2021. 

In the statement ADDU declared its solidarity with the business and private sector in ensuring that the city remains conducive to economic activity with the growth of its urban ecosystem. 

During an online dialogue held October 2020, with University officials led by ADDU president Fr. Joel Tabora, DPWH-XI and Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), the school voiced opposition over the road widening and layby project which will cut 20 fully-grown trees in the campus. 

During the online dialogue university engineers showed that the proposed flyover will not solve the traffic situation along MacArthur based on their traffic simulation model. 

Need for Transport Masterplan 

In the press statement, ADDU said that the worsening traffic situation in Davao City needs to be addressed with a Transport Masterplan which aims to promote and efficient mass transport system and walkable, bikeable Davao City. 

“We believe that the problem lies beyond road networks and expansion. When 8 out of 10 vehicles on the road are private cars, while 8 out of 10 people on the road are public commuters, we see that the solution is not only more roads, but less cars,” the ADDU statement reads. 

“We laud the City Government’s efforts in implementing the Bicycle Ordinance of 2010 beginning with the delineation of bike lanes last year. Let us each do our part in keeping the biking community safe by respecting the bike lanes and persons/pedestrians-on-wheels.” 

ADDU also said in its statement that they are committed thru their Research and Engagement in collaborating with national, local government and civil society partners in mapping out a sustainable Davao City. 

“We gain inspiration from Pope Francis in Laudato SI when he spoke of the “disproportionate and unruly growth of many cities.” He said  “We are not meant to be inundated by cement, asphalt, glass and metal, and deprived of physical contact with nature,” ADDU said in its statement. PIAXI/RG Alama