INFRASTRUCTURE development in Mindanao is one of the main priorities of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as it receives the biggest allocation in the agency’s P382.4 billion budget for 2017. DPWH Planning Service director Constante Llanes, Jr. during the Mindanao Ecozone Summit at Grand Regal Hotel reported that the allocation for Mindanao is at P139.6 billion or 36.5 percent of the agency’s total budget for the proposed infrastructure programs.
“We are looking for big ticket projects in Mindanao like Mindanao logistics infrastructure projects and Mindanao Railway System among others,” he said. During the two-day summit, Mindanao Development Authority chair Datu Abdul Khayr Alonto bared President Rodrigo Duterte’s key projects which include the completion of the Mindanao High-Speed Railway System by 2022.
Llanes said the funds will be used for the construction of inter-regional roads to connect airports and seaports in the island-region. “There are a lot of good projects we can implement in Mindanao to make our road network system more efficient and effective,” he said. DPWH data revealed that the total road network in Mindanao is at 68,092-kilometer (km). The agency, Llanes said, is committed to take part in the country’s golden age of infrastructure. Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Domiguez and Department of Budget secretary Jose Diokno ensured the target infrastructure spending for 2017 is at seven percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product to be at par with the neighboring Association of the Southeast Asian Nations countries.
Of the P332 billion budget, 7.5 percent or 27.9 billion goes to the National Capital Region, 18.9 percent or 72.1 billion is allocated to Southern Luzon, Visayas gets 65.7 billion or 17.2 percent of the budget, and 20.1 percent or 77 billion is imparted to Northern Luzon. (AAS)