ON TRACK

MinDA confident big ticket projects in Mindanao to be implemented on time

TOTAL PICTURE. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) deputy executive director assistant secretary Romeo Montenegro provides the overview of Mindanao’s current business situation and updates of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects in the island. Montenegro interacted with the press during Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape at Abreeza Mall. LEAN DAVAL JR.
TOTAL PICTURE. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) deputy executive director assistant secretary Romeo Montenegro provides the overview of Mindanao’s current business situation and updates of the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects in the island. Montenegro interacted with the press during Wednesdays @ Habi at Kape at Abreeza Mall. LEAN DAVAL JR.

With two years and 10 months left in the Duterte administration, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro is hopeful big ticket infrastructure projects in Mindanao will be implemented on time and within the budget. 

The big ticket infrastructure projects identified for Mindanao during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte include the 1,550 kilometer Mindanao Railway Project with the construction of the 102-kilometer first phase of the railway project that run from Tagum City to Digos City, passing through Davao City (TDD line) still pending; and road constructions spread all over Mindanao.

Montenegro said they are presently tracking in terms of kilometers of roads for Mindanao that is already budgeted for 2019 around 1,267 kilometers of roads and 118 kilometers of bridges that have to be implemented within 2019 including those road projects that have been programmed up to 2022. 

He said they wanted to see these projects moving at on the desired timeline.

“Because time is not on our side and we are left half of the adminisration and our window to get what we desired for Midnanao is closing and that is why we have to work hand in hand with all other agencies of the government to make sure that the implementation of these projects are implemented and pursued on time and within budget,” he said. 

Montenegro also said they are pushing for an increased allocation of budget for Mindanao that will veer towards increased spending for infrastructure.

MinDA is also pushing for the fast -tracking and catch up for the infrastructure spending, which is a national priority right now considering there has been a slight contraction of the construction industry growth in the first half of 2019 because of the delayed enactment of 2019 General Appropriation Act (GAA) that resulted to reduce spending of investments particularly for major infrastructure projects.

“Also add to that equation is the election ban which also set aside implementation of many infra projects all across the country. This contributed to slight contraction of construction growth in the first half of 2019,” he said.

He explained this is the reason why economic managers had set a catch -up plan to make sure that the rest of 2019 increase spending for infrastructure development would continue.

“Note that the government had set a target of 7% of GDP infra spending by 2022. Right now we already hitting 5.5% of GDP which is already doubled than the previous adminstrations infra spending,” he said. 

Montenegro also assured that the programs and advocacies of MinDA will continue with the coming in of then Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, who recently took oath as the new MinDA Secretary.