If you read any of my articles after my return from visiting Samal Island last year you’ll surely remember my feelings regarding the ability to drive around the island. My biggest complaint was the condition of the Circumferential Road, which is the “main” road on the island. Parts of it are paved, but much (most) of it is not.

It seemed to me that road was in even worse shape than I remembered from the previous trip, two years prior. The areas around the subdivision developments were particularly shocking to me, as I expected those would be developed along with the subdivisions, but in many cases these were even worse from what appeared to be the heavy use due to the construction.

It was with great pleasure that I read the news, presented by Department of Tourism (DOT)-XI Regional Director Art Boncato, that Samal is due to concrete the (entire?) Circumferential Road. As part of a master list of projects from around the country, Samal will have P1.534 billion allocated to the project which is expected to be implemented in phases. There was no word given on when the project was expected to start, or for that matter complete.

As part of the article, there was also mention of the notorious Samal-Davao bridge, and possibly tying that into a project that would transfer the Davao Airport to Samal? I wasn’t sure I had read that correctly, but that seems to be in a proposal that Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario has made. I’m just speechless in regards to that proposal. I’ll reserve any comments until l have more facts.

“The island is so promising that you have to have the right vision for the development of tourism in Samal,” he stressed. Dir. Boncato and Reider visited the governor at the Tahanan ng Lalawigan in Tagum City to refer the proposed priority tourism projects for the province. Gov. del Rosario was delighted that the circumferential road project will finally be realized to boost up tourism and advance socio-economic development in the island city. “If you’re looking at really developing the whole island, you cannot separate the circumferential road project,” the governor said.

As with all projects that I see announced around the various areas of the country, there can be quite a lag between the announcement and the actual implementation of the project. In some cases, shall I mention the bridge again?, there never is any implementation. I’ll watch this one closely, as I believe it is critical to the health and growth of Samal Island. Not just for the resorts or tourism, but for the basic development of the island.

Gov’t to build P1.5B circumferential road.

Photo credit: Paul David Lewin | Digypho Studio Philippines

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