Today is: Mon, May 20, 2013
Mindanao road funding pushed
KORONADAL -- The Department of Public Works and Highways has proposed some P27 billion in appropriations next year for the paving of national road networks in Mindanao in a bid to facilitate the movement of goods and people across the island, officials said over the weekend.
The department’s P27-billion budget proposal for road projects on the island in 2013 is P7 billion more than this year’s allocation, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said in a statement.
It quoted Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson as saying road improvement was integral to government efforts to spur development in Mindanao.
He noted that about 69% of national roads in Mindanao are still unpaved, leaving the island with the least number of kilometers of paved roads in the entire country.
“It is very clear that Mindanao should get a bigger share of the budget,” Mr. Singson stressed.
He added that for the past three years, DPWH has been allocating roughly 26% of its budget for Mindanao.
PROJECTS IDENTIFIED FOR CENTRAL MINDANAO
MinDA Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati R. Antonino said in the same statement that Mindanao still lags in terms of transport networks, hindering the flow of goods across the island.
“A lot still needs to be done in our road networks, especially because these are essential in promoting our role as the country’s food basket,” Ms. Antonino said, adding that faster growth for Mindanao “is possible once the island achieves full physical integration and interconnectivity.”
This year, the Public Works department has proposed a P2.8-billion allocation for roads development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
In Central Mindanao alone, the Regional Development Council (RDC-12) has endorsed to the Public Works and Tourism departments six road projects to improve the tourism potentials of the area. These are the:
- Poblacion Lake Sebu-Seloton-Seven Falls-Lake Lahit road;
- Junction National Highway (Sarangani-Davao del Sur Coastal Road to Gumasa White Beach road);
- Kidapawan-llomavis road;
- Junction National Highway (Sarangani-Sultan Kudarat coastal road to Pangui-Wali-New La Union road);
- Junction National Highway (Makilala-Allah Valley road to Baras Bird Sanctuary road); and
- Junction National Highway (Cotabato-Digos road to Barangay New Israel Road).
Arturo G. Valero, director of the National Economic and Development Authority’s office in Region 12, said RDC-12 identified these road projects since they cut across numerous communities and prospective tourism sites.
“These projects would open opportunities for employment and productive economic activities, thus will improve eventually the quality of life of the beneficiary communities,” he said.
Mr. Valero, also the RDC-12 vice-chairman, said the DPWH, the Tourism department and the Institutional Development Foundation, Inc. early this year signed a memorandum of agreement to integrate their plans and programs in support of the government’s tourism infrastructure development thrust, as mandated by Republic Act No. 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009. -- RSS