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5 Things You Need to Know About the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project

The bridge is one step closer to reality.
IMAGE Facebook / SIDC Official Page
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On January 14, 2021, a commercial contract for the design and build of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector (SIDC) Project was signed between the Philippine and Chinese governments. It’s the most concrete step forward yet to making the bridge a reality. 

Here are 5 facts you need to know about the SIDC project:

1| The project was first proposed 40 years ago

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Project Description Report, a bridge to connect Davao City to Samal Island was first conceptualized in 1980. But it was during the World Economic Forum on ASEAN hosted by Cambodia in 2017, when President Rodrigo Duterte presented the administration’s economic agenda, that the project finally got off the ground. Duterte announced 75 big-ticket flagship projects under the Build, Build, Build program, one of which was the SIDC project.

The first feasibility study for the project was presented in 2019.

Photo by Embassy of China in the Philippines.
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2| The bridge will be the first to link Davao City with the Island Garden City of Samal

Samal Island (or IGCOS), which is a component city of Davao Del Norte, is only about two kilometers away from Davao City, which is in Davao Del Sur. SIDC will link existing road networks of Davao City and IGCOS. The Samal Island point will be at the Samal Circumferential Road in Barangay Limao, while the Davao City point will be in between R. Castillo-Daang Maharlika junction.

3| The bridge will be nearly 4 kilometers long

The project is a two-way, four-lane bridge that will measure about 3.86 kilometers traversing the Pakiputan Strait. It is expected to carry about 25,000 vehicles daily. According to the Philippine Information Agency, the bridge’s main span measures 250 meters and has a vertical navigation clearance of up to 47 meters crossing over Pakiputan strait. The bridge will also be supported by two pylons with a height of 73 meters.

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4| The project is principally funded by China

The contract between the governments of the Philippines and China for the SIC was signed last January 14 at a cost of $400 million (about P19.32 billion). Funding will come from the China Loan Financing Facility under the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).

Design and construction of the SIDC will be handled by China Road and Bridge. Construction will take about 54 months.

Photo by DPWH.
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5| The bridge is expected to greatly ease access to Samal Island to tourists

IGCOS is often referred to as the largest resort city in the country, with numerous beacshe and world-class resorts, including Pearl Farm Beach Resort. According to the SIDC Project Description Report, the bridge “aims to reduce travel time and to promote ease and access for tourists, both local and international coming from Davao City and going to IGCOS and vice versa. 

The bridge also is also expected to “reduce road network congestion in and around ferry terminals as well as to support IGCOS economic development and diversification through better links to industry, commerce and trade, among others.”

The bridge will be toll-free and will cut down travel between Davao City and Samal Island to only two to five minutes. 

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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