Today is: Sat, May 18, 2013
P27-B Mindanao Road Project Set
KIDAPAWAN CITY – In pursuit of the government’s bid to spur development in Mindanao, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson disclosed that his agency would allocate roughly P27 billion to pave Mindanao’s national roads in 2013 representing a P7 billion hike in Mindanao’s share from last year’s allocation.
Singson made the announcement at the Top-Level Policy Roundtable Discussion in Manila jointly organized early this month by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and the USAID Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.
As of this year, 69 percent of the Mindanao’s national roads are still unpaved, making Mindanao as the region with the least number of paved roads in the entire country, Singson was quoted in a report released by MinDA.
“It is very clear that Mindanao should get a bigger share of the budget,” MinDA quoted Singson as saying.
For the past three years, according to the official, DPWH has been allocating 26 percent of its budget for Mindanao. Moreover, this year the department has allocated an additional P2.8 billion solely for roads development in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
At the same meeting, Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of MinDA, confirmed that Mindanao still lags behind in terms of its transport networks, which affects efficiency of flow of goods in the island-region.
“Despite the positive performance of Mindanao economy, 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,” said Antonino.
She said Mindanao's accelerated growth and economic take-off is possible once the island achieves full physical integration and interconnectivity.
Amid moves to increase allocation for road networks in Mindanao, the DPWH also noted issues raised by several contractors that caused delays in the completion of projects.
Singson cited peace and security problem and road-right of way problems as among the delaying factors.
He said such issues are not only causing delays but are also adding undue cost to the road projects.
“We believe that the national road network is one of the most important aspects of economic development,” said Singson.