Ateneo de Davao heaves sigh of relief as flyover project terminated

The Ateneo de Davao High School alumni  inspect  one of the old acacia trees inside the ADDU Matina campus. Several of these old trees would have to be cut with the proposed Maa flyover project which entails road widening and construction of laybays. The University has opposed the project due to environmental concerns.

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 20 (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 inside ADDU’S Matina Campus.

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

Ortiz also cited massive work in the transfer of power lines, water pipes and telecom lines and that subsequent interruptions  would paralyze the city.

The Ateneo de Davao has cited the priceless ecological value of the Matina campus trees as to why it is opposing the infrastructure project.

“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,” read the statement of ADDU president Fr. Joel Tabora which was released on Jan. 20.

In his statement the university 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.

In last year’s online dialogue university engineers showed that the proposed flyover will not solve the traffic situation along MacArthur based on their traffic simulation model.

The Maa Flyover project was targeted by the DPWH to decongest the volume of traffic along MacArthur and Maa junction.

With a length of 685 meters, the scope of work involves road widening and construction of laybys which would have affected the trees at the ADDU Matina campus.

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[1], we see that the solution is not only more roads, but less cars,” the ADDU president said in his statement.

“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,” Fr. Tabora said

Also in the statement ADDU is committed thru their Research and Engagement in collaborating with national, local government and civil society partners in mapping out a sustainable Davao City. (PIA/RG Alama)



 



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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