Expect an infrastructure boom that will harness the economic potentials and comparative advantages of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
In a first meeting of Intergovernmental Relations Body for Infrastructure Development for BARMM, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations and Technical Services Emil K. Sadain reported that major national infrastructure projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region amounting P5.22 Billion are already lined up in the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 DPWH National Expenditure Program.
Priorities include the rehabilitation of damaged paved national highway and road widening at Basilan Circumferential Road in Basilan; reconstruction and upgrading of Jolo-Indanan-Parang-Silangkan Road, Jolo-Taglibi-Tiptipon Road, Jolo Port-Bud Daho-Romandier Road in Sulu; replacement of weak bridges along Jolo-Taglibi-Tiptipon Road, Sulu; construction of missiong road links of Banaran-Tonggusong Road, Marang Marang-Bakung Road, Tonggusong Road – Tubig Indangan Road in Tawi-Tawi; construction of flood mitigation structure at Agus/Buayan River in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur; rehabilitation along Cotabato-Malabang-Lanao del Norte Road, Masiu-Ganassi Road and Marawi-Malabang Road in Lanao del Sur; and concreting of Sultan Mastusa and Parang Section of Cotabato – Lanao Road, and widening of Simuay-Landasan-Parang Road, Lamsan – Simuay Junction Road in Cotabato City.
DPWH earlier assisted the BARMM - Ministry of Public Works (MPW) in the identification and subsequent finalization of the priority lists of projects for FY 2020 to ensure that strategic regional needs are considered in national plans and that the regional plans are aligned with national priorities.
In addition for funds to be provided by the national government as assistance to the region for the construction and maintenance of national roads and bridges, water supply and services under DPWH supervision, BARMM-MPW proposed to undertake in FY 2020 P12.14 Billion worth of local infrastructure to be sourced from annual block grant which is the share of Bangsamoro government in the national internal revenue tax collections of Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs.
Additional P5 Billion worth of projects will be provided by the national government as Special Development Fund to the Bangsamoro government for the rebuilding, rehabilitation and development of its conflict-affected communities.
Undersecretary Sadain, designated by Secretary Mark A. Villar to be the Focal Person for BARMM Infra Projects, said that the boost in investments for infrastructure at BARMM is seen to finally make the change for the living condition of the Bangsamoro people happen.
Bangsamoro government through the MPW need to work closely with DPWH Regional Offices 9, 10 and 12 and should raise the bar in the delivery of effective and efficient services by racing against lost time because they are at the forefront towards achieving the intra- and interregional trade between and among the Mindanao regions, added Sadain.
A Memorandum of Agreement between DPWH and MPW BARRM is being finalized to harmonize and synchronize plans and programs.
Under the leadership of Secretary Villar, DPWH is committed to help spark meaningful growth in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region with significant investments such as in the reconstruction and development plan for a Greater Marawi which received P950 Million grant for the construction of 18.97 kilometers Marawi Transcentral Road Phase 1 and 2 from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency to pave the way for improved mobility of people and for better access to goods and services. Funding for the 23 kilometers Marawi Transcentral Road Phase 3 and 19.8 kilometers Marawi City Ring Road are also included in the P3.577 Billion JICA loan.
Asian Development Bank will also finance projects under the Reconstruction and Development Plan for a Greater Marawi, a master development plan geared towards inclusive economic growth for Marawi City and its peripheral areas. The components of the plan includes 21.87 kilometer Transcentral Road Phase IV, construction of Malabang Viaduct, construction of Bridges, and five (5) other projects from Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP) List of Projects.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. believes that as security condition normalizes and economic activity resumes, the difficulties in the way of life of people brought by the insurgency will end when the road begins given the huge proposed allocation for road network development in the region.
In a meeting with Secretary Villar, Secretary Galvez, and officials of the Department of Budget and Management, legislators from the Bangsamoro areas namely Maguindanao First District Congressman Datu Ronnie Sinsuat, Tawi-Tawi Lone District Congresman Rashidin Matba, Basilan Lone District Congressman Mujiv Hataman, Lanao Del Sur Second District Congressman Yasser Balindong, and Anak Mindanao Party List Congresswoman Amihilda Sangcopan expressed their appreciation for the support of their agencies to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region given the long-term nature of infrastructure development and the massive amounts needed.
Sadain said that we expect to strengthen connectivity between areas in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and other regions of Mindanao by developing and upgrading about 176.6 kilometers of primary and its access roads under the P14 Billion Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao or RNDP-CAAM funded by a P10.684 Billion loan agreement with JICA and P3.617 Billion counterpart fund by Government of the Philippines.
Also in attendance at the first meeting of Intergovernmental Relations Body for Infrastructure Development are BARMM-MPW Assistant Secretary Danilo A. Ong together with his district and assistant district engineers, Department of Budget and Management Directors Amanella Arevalo and Ma. Grace Delos Santos, DPWH Regional Directors Cayamombao Dia and Basir Ibrahim; UPMO Project Directors Virgilio Castillo and Sharif Madsmo Hasim, UPMO Project Managers Francisco Sawali, Soledad Florencio, Rogelio Ang, Cristino Agtang, Sol Abasa, Leonila Mercado and Shirley Castro; Region 10 Planning Division OIC Sabeniano Caliao representing Director Zenaida Tan; and the district heads of DPWH in Basilan, Cotabato City, and Lanao del Sur.