Duterte gov’t pushes for 3 ma­jor projects in Min­danao

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories - By Jig­ger J. Jerusalem

THE Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion is keen on push­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Min­danao through the build­ing of at least three ma­jor in­fra­struc­tures that will have an im­pact on the is­land’s econ­omy.

Speak­ing be­fore del­e­gates of the 26th Min­danao Busi­ness Con­fer­ence (MBC) held in this city on Sept. 7-9, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte an­nounced that key projects such as the Min­danao Rail­way sys­tem, the Pan­guil Bay Bridge and the ex­pan­sion of the Laguindin­gan Air­port are in var­i­ous stages of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“We have al­lo­cated funds to build struc­tures that fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of goods and ser­vices as well as en­hance mo­bil­ity and con­nec­tiv­ity,” Duterte told MBC par­tic­i­pants and pub­lic of­fi­cials dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­monies of the big­gest gath­er­ing of in­vestors and busi­ness lead­ers in Min­danao on Satur­day, Sept. 9.

He said for so long a time Min­danao has been be­hind from the rest of the coun­try.

“What ails Min­danao? Why is there a lag in the progress of Min­danao? Why is it that they do not have man­u­fac­tur­ing? This is

sup­posed to be an agri­cul­tural land… Well, we do not have it here,” the Pres­i­dent added.

As a na­tive of Min­danao and for­mer mayor of Davao City, Duterte said he has al­ways been a firm be­liever in its great po­ten­tial.

“As long as it has the right in­fra­struc­ture and a sound busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, Min­danao’s abun­dant re­sources and hard­work­ing and dy­namic peo­ple have the ca­pac­ity to con­trib­ute even more to our coun­try’s growth and de­vel­op­ment,” he said. More funds for in­fra It is for this rea­son, he fur­thered, that the gov­ern­ment is ag­gres­sively pur­su­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects in Min­danao un­der its Build, Build, Build pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­part­ment of Bud­get Man­age­ment (DBM), P643.3 bil­lion was al­lo­cated for the in­fra­struc­ture, from the coun­try’s to­tal bud­get of P3.767 tril­lion for 2018.

“The De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) re­ceives the sec­ond high­est share among the agen­cies, with P643.3 bil­lion,” the DBM on its web­site said.

It said new roads and high­ways will be built through an al­lo­ca­tion of P19.4 bil­lion, a whop­ping 185.6 per­cent in­crease from the pre­vi­ous bud­get of P55.4 bil­lion.

“This will al­low the trans­port of more peo­ple and goods in all re­gions of the coun­try. In ad­di­tion, the DPWH will also con­struct new by­passes and di­ver­sion roads for an amount of P49.3 bil­lion to con­nect freight cen­ters and al­le­vi­ate the daily traf­fic prob­lem,” the DBM added.

The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor will get the high­est bud­get with P691.1 bil­lion, P613.05 of which will go to the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, P13.5 bil­lion for the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, and P64.6 bil­lion for State Uni­ver­si­ties and Col­leges.

Food se­cu­rity

To se­cure Min­danao’s im­por­tant role as the coun­try’s food bas­ket, Duterte said the gov­ern­ment is ac­tively pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance in the pro­duc­tion of high-value crops, and the de­vel­op­ment of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and mar­ket­ing of its goods, among oth­ers.

He said the Color-Coded Agri-Fish­ery Map is also now avail­able to farm­ers to help them iden­tify the most suit­able crops for their farms.

“This will be con­tin­u­ously im­proved with new data and tools to pro­vide more in­for­ma­tion for our farm­ers and fish­er­folk. All you have to do is just look at the map… it’s sim­ply stated as the soil anal­y­sis of what should be the ap­pro­pri­ate [crops that you’ll plant],” he said.

Peace in Min­danao

The Pres­i­dent has also made it clear that th­ese goals for Min­danao could not be achieved if there is no peace in the is­land.

At present, Min­danao is plagued by in­sur­gency and ex­trem­ism, specif­i­cally the con­flict in Marawi City which is ap­proach­ing its fourth month of fight­ing be­tween in­sur­gents and gov­ern­ment forces.

The con­flict in Marawi has al­ready dis­placed hun­dreds of thou­sands of res­i­dents, killed more than a hun­dred peo­ple, and caused the de­struc­tion of mil­lions of pe­sos worth of prop­er­ties.

“How­ever, our ef­forts to pro­mote busi­ness, trade and in­vest­ment in Min­danao will be in vain if we can­not en­sure sta­bil­ity and or­der, as well as se­cure just and last­ing peace in the is­land,” he said.

That is why, he said, the gov­ern­ment is in­ten­si­fy­ing the fight against il­le­gal drugs, crime and cor­rup­tion, even as it cre­ates a more en­abling and nur­tur­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in Min­danao.

“The gov­ern­ment re­mains firmly com­mit­ted to wip­ing out lo­cal ter­ror­ists and other threat groups that con­tinue to hin­der our peace and de­vel­op­ment ef­forts, es­pe­cially the ISIS-in­spired ones who have at­tempted to take over the City of Marawi,” he added.

Duterte said: “I as­sure all in­vestors and busi­nesses in Min­danao that the gov­ern­ment will do ev­ery­thing to make sure that Marawi City re­cov­ers and that it will rise again as a thriv­ing and flour­ish­ing city.”

He said the gov­ern­ment is now ex­pe­dit­ing prepara­tory works for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Marawi City Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Re­con­struc­tion Plan to see to it that this will re­ally hap­pen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.