BEST OF EFFORTS
ARMM to complete road network links in 2016
OFFICIALS of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao want improvement of the region’s road network completed in time for its transformation into a Bangsamoro entity by 2016.
This surfaced during a meeting dubbed Infrastructure Convergence Committee (ICC) which was simultaneously held with a regional development plan (RDP) midterm update provincial consultation, on January 20, 2014 at Garden Orchid Hotel, Zamboanga City.
Engineer Emil Sadain, ARMM DPWH secretary, said only 179 kilometers (km.) remained unpaved out of the total 992 km. national roads. And the combined length of still unpaved provincial roads had been 1,134 km.
The DPWH-ARMM is closely working with the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) and the Office of the Regional Governor in determining the varying conditions and status of the region’s road network.
The activity was attended by more than 40 participants from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Lamitan City, mostly provincial planning and development coordinators, municipal planning and development coordinators, provincial engineers and DPWH-ARMM district engineers.
RPDO Executive Director Baintan Adil-Ampatuan said that the ICC Meeting was held along with the RDP midterm update consultation to determine the status of road network condition in those island-components of the ARMM.
ED Adil-Ampatuan said participants should identify their priority sections and components of the region’s road connectivity in the three island provinces and a city as basis of programming the Annual Infrastructure Fund for 2015 and beyond. Planners have also generated useful inputs for inclusion in the final drafting of the ARMM RDP Midterm Update, 2014-2016.
Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia pointed out that it was the first-time in 24 years of ARMM existence that provincial planners and district engineers were convened in one venue to discuss local priority infrastructure programs as basis of programming the ARMM Annual Infrastructure Fund.
Secretary Sadain, who is also chair of the ICC, also underscored the importance of the meeting, by sharing significant accomplishments of the DPWH-ARMM with a strong push from ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman.
He encouraged the participants to support the reform agenda of the Hataman leadership, saying no regional efforts will ever prosper without the support and commitment of the provincial stakeholders.
The regional secretary vowed to work hand-in-hand with DPWH national officials for the 100 percent concreting of national and provincial roads components or sections in the ARMM.
He said funding for 2014 will also be allocated for local roads, seaports, water supply and other support infrastructure. Inputs from the workshop will form part of the regional database for subsequent programming of infrastructure fund allocations.
ED Adil-Ampatuan also presented the RDP Midterm update, including the regional spatial strategy, defining the region’s spatial development framework on a long-term basis.
Provincial participants identified their respective priority infrastructure projects including roads, bridges, water supply, sea ports and other vital infrastructures in support to regional development programs. (MMI of RPDO-ARMM)