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ADB: Modern bus system in Davao to benefit poor

Plans to modernize Davao’s mass transport system will go a long way in improving the economic conditions and the lives of the poor in Mindanao’s most rapidly urbanizing city.

A new report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which plans to bankroll the establishment of an efficient bus network in Davao, said the city’s poor would be the biggest gainers.

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“The poor often have no access to private modes of transport such as motorcycles or cars, and are thus captive public transport users,” the Manila-based multilateral lender said in its initial poverty impact report on the project.

“If these services do not provide the necessary access, be it through cost, coverage area, or time of operations, they become excluded from active participation in economic, social, and educational activities,” the report published this week read.

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The ADB said the project would provide a highly-prioritized bus public transport system that covers all of Davao, the country’s largest city by land area.

The buses would operate day and night where required, affordable, and would provide seamless connectivity in a timely way for commuters and travelers.

City officials and existing public transport operators were named as the main stakeholder groups for the project. The city officials and passengers will directly benefit from improved management and public transport services, ADB said.

ADB said, however, the owners and operators of existing modes of public transportation could be negatively affected by the transition to a modern public transport system.

To address the potential negative impact on owners and operators, the ADB said it would assess the needs and prepare livelihood components for those who stand to lose their jobs due to the shift. These livelihood programs would be included in the ADB’s planned financial assistance for the project.

ADB officials earlier this year said the project would likely cost $70 million or about P3.25 billion. The Davao transport project is just one of several programs the ADB said it would fund for the development of Mindanao.

Other projects will focus on the rehabilitation and construction of roads, financing for social safety nets, and technical assistance for the improvement of institutions.

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TAGS: ADB, Asian development bank, Bus, Business, Davao, develop, economy, network, operator, project, system, Transport, transportation
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