Infrastructure projects are key drivers and backbone of the country’s economy. Thus, right set of interventions through proper planning and programming are critical for its effective implementation, especially in an island-region like Mindanao.
The inter-agency convergence of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and its regional offices, recently conducted the 10th Mindanao Development Corridors Joint Planning and Programming (MinDC-JPP) Session last February 26-28, 2019.
Following the agreement of the previous MinDC-JPP session, the team inspected the Cotabato – Pagadian – Zamboanga del Sur roads and Zamboanga del Sur coastal roads traversing a 172kilometer stretch, which covers the eight (8) municipalities of Dumalinao, San Pablo, Dinas, Dimataling, Tabina, Pitogo, Vicenzo Sagun and Margosatubig, as part of its Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) scheme.
The team led by MinDA Policy, Planning and Project Development Director Reyzaldy Tan and NEDA Region IX Director Phlorita Ridao, came up with an agreement on the following matters:
First, identification of missing gaps and segments in order to complete the road network; Second, establishment of a common point at certain boundaries through joint surveys; Third, impiementation of road projects within the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
As of November 2018, an estimated PhP 39 billion has been allocated for the 42 inter-regional projects under the MinDC, 32 of which are roads; six for bridges; and four for flood controls. A total of 204.32 kilometers or 46.8% are completed out of the 1,500 kilometers target length while, 258.93 kilometers or 16.17% are still for improvement and opening.
For 2019, an estimated PhP 16 billion is being proposed for continuing allocation from the national government.
Under the MinDC, a spatial strategy that aims for a seamless physical integration and strong economic cooperation among regions in Mindanao, these road projects ensure inter-regional connectivity of growth centers and its peripheries.
With the acceleration of these high impact infrastructUre Projects, it hopes to create an enabling business and investment environment; scale up agricultural industries that further enhances Mindanao’s stance as the food basket of the country; Open viable business opportunities and livelihood; increase income of farmers, fisher folks and Other Micro Small Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs); establish new tourism destinations making Mindanao as the next premiere tourism hub of the Philippines and the BIMP-EAGA; and fortify good local and national governance, thereby, improving the socioeconomic landscape Of Mindanao, while paving the way for a lasting peace.
MinDC-JPP is a coordination mechanism for planning, monitoring and endorsing infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, flood controls, tourism, ports and airports for inclusion in the national investment plan and budget.
Further, it guarantees that projects are not only strategic but also responsive to the needs of the grassroots communities, while taking into consideration its socio-cultural and historical context.
MinDA, by virtue of Republic Act 9996, is mandated to provide strategic direction and harmonize initiatives that will contribute to the attainment of every Mindanawon’s aspirations for peace and development that are also aligned with the country’s long-term vision for a “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na buhay.”