Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project
Thank you very much to our Vice President, Vice President Sara Duterte. Alam ko pinatayo kayong lahat but I think it’s okay to sit down now.
His Excellency our good friend, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines His Excellency Huang Xilian to whom we must extend our congratulations for the successful conduct of the Communist Party Conference just concluded, and we look forward to building upon the directions that your President — that President Xi Jinping has given to the People’s Republic of China in partnership with the Philippines. We look forward to continuing to strengthen and to bring closer our two countries. [applause]
Public Works and Highways Secretary Manny Bonoan; the other members of the Cabinet; your excellencies; Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte; the City of Samal Mayor Al David Uy; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen; distinguished guests, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.
I congratulate, of course, the Department of Public Works and Highways, its development partners, and all the people of the Davao Region, including the LGUs involved, as we gather here today for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project.
Once completed, this bridge will help us develop the economic potential of Davao City and the Island Garden City of Samal, as well as enhance its residents’ access to employment, education, and other services.
It is for us to express also our gratitude to the government of the People’s Republic of China as they were an active member and have always been a dependable partner in this infrastructure development program.
This is not the only project that we have depended upon, the concessional loans and even grants from the government of the People’s Republic of China, and it is clear to see the benefits that those projects bring to our people, to our economy, and to the Philippines.
This is a testament to the strong and ever-growing foundation of the bilateral relations and cooperation between our two countries.
It is always a pleasure as a nation to join hands with you for the eventual success of this endeavor.
Through your assistance and the efforts of the Department of Public Works and Highways, this bridge will soon accommodate up to 25,000 vehicles daily and reduce travel time between Samal and Davao from 50 minutes to just four and a half.
In 2027, this bridge will surely ease the convenience of travel and transport, bringing forth gainful opportunities for many of our people by providing a link between relatively far-flung areas and economic centers, thereby we ensure smoother mobility of people and of goods.
It will provide easier access to tourism spots and ensure the speedy recuperation from the setbacks brought about by the pandemic.
I also believe that, through this project, we will further improve the peace and order situation in the area, as well as ensure the faster and more efficient aid distribution during times of calamities.
As the government’s engineering and construction arm, I must underscore the important role of the Department of Public Works and Highways not only in ensuring the completion of this project but also in the broader task of nation-building.
It is therefore my always constant instruction to your agency to remain steadfast in building a more interconnected Philippines.
Through the continued construction of short and long-span bridges across the country, we can boost regional transport and spur economic development and competitiveness in the countryside.
At this juncture, I would also like to explain that this is — I am only the fortunate to have been sitting as President when we broke ground for this very important project. This project actually was formally began by then Secretary Mark Villar under the Duterte administration. And it began formally to put together the projects since 2018. So the previous administration had already been working on this project for four years before we arrived to this day.
However, I am looking forward to also once again being the lucky one to open the bridge when it is finished. [applause]
We credit this project to all the people, both past and present, who have worked very hard to realize this grand infrastructure for it is through the efforts of very many people working very, very hard and their compounded efforts that we will soon harvest fruits that will benefit all.
Ladies and gentlemen, as your leader whose mandate is predicated upon the message of hope and of unity, let me underscore the significant message that is also encapsulated in this occasion.
Let this bridge affirm this administration’s commitment and resolve to become a sturdy and purposeful link that bridges gaps between physical and geographical barriers, but also the various social structures that need to be connected and fortified as one.
Regardless of our individual strengths or merits, we will achieve nothing if we continue to permit divisions that halt us from connecting with each other.
Let us continue the great work of coming together and let the changing power that will result from our energy give rise to the realization of our dreams of a strong, prosperous, and truly united Filipino nation. To that day we can all look forward to.
Maraming salamat at mabuhay po kayong lahat! Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. [applause]
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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)