Environment organizations seek for DavSam Bridge realignment
Environmental groups have long been advocating for the realignment of the DavSam Bridge for the protection of the local ecosystem. The bridge, which connected the two bustling cities of Davot and Samson, had been a major thoroughfare for commuting and tra
Environment organizations seek for DavSam Bridge realignment
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During a press conference on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2024, in Magallanes, Davao City, environmental organizations Sustainable Davao Movement (SDM) and Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (Idis) reaffirmed their hope for the realignment of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project.

Amnesty International vice chair and SDM member Romeo Carbarde made it clear that his organization supports the idea of the bridge but is in favor of realigning it. He maintained that a shorter bridge would save money and be better for the environment since it would protect reefs and plants.

"I think there is still a chance to assert the realignment of the Davao-Samal bridge, to protect the trees and the environment here in Davao City," he said. "Ako I believe na may paraan pa upang ma-assert natin ang realignment ng Davao-Samal bridge!"

SDM secretariat spokesperson Carmela Marie Santos reaffirmed their optimism for the SIDC's realignment and acknowledged the support of numerous Dabawenyos who are concerned. She did, however, express shock at the 20th City Council's conduct.

"It seems like they are not doing enough to protect the environment," she stated. I mean, the election is really bad. It's time for us to review who we're putting in these positions and whether they're actually doing their jobs. I haven't seen any positive actions on their part to protect the environment. The election is coming up, so it's time for us to assess who we're putting in these positions and whether they're really doing their job,” she said.

Carbarde questioned why the local government unit (LGU) asserted that the project's national status precluded it from intervening. According to the local government code, he claimed, the LGU has the power to take action.

 

In line with Santos' advice, he pushed Davao's political elite to exert pressure on the national project and hold international contractors responsible for disregarding the wellbeing of Dabawenyos.

According to him, local government entities are mandated by Section 16 to exercise their powers in a way that is incidental, appropriate, or necessary for their efficient and effective governance. They are also granted the authority to promote the general welfare and strengthen citizens' rights to a balanced ecology.

The executive director of Idis, Mark Peñalver, proposed that the LGU may exercise its power by granting licenses that require conformity with local laws, including the Heritage Tree Ordinance, in order to guarantee project compliance.

 

"A chance to exercise authority over a local government unit." Because of this, their belief that they are powerless to stop it because it is a national government project is ill-considered and shortsighted. It ignores the welfare of the environment and the people in general as well as the impact on the environment and the environment's impact on the people. Local government units have plenty of opportunities to exercise their authority.

Prior to this, during the 20th City Council meeting, both environmental groups expressed their worries over the planned removal of about 200 trees in Lanang, Davao City, for the SIDC project and in honor of the International Day for Biological Diversity.

 

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