By Antonio L. Colina IV
Davao City – Five multi-billion projects under the government’s massive infrastructure program dubbed “Build, Build, Build” will transform Mindanao into a center for agriculture and industry, according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez.
During the Philippine Economic Briefing at the SMX Convention Center Davao on Friday, Dominguez said that Mindanao is “at the front and center” of the government’s infrastructure program.
He said that these projects, approved already by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, demonstrate “this administration’s commitment to move Mindanao from the margins to make it a center for agriculture and industry.”
These approved projects include the P5.4-billion Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase 2 in North Cotabato and Maguindanao, which will service almost 10,000 hectares of land in 56 conflict-affected areas; the P4.86-billion Panguil Bay Bridge project that will connect Tangub City in Misamis Occidental and Tubod, Lanao del Norte, for completion in 2021; the expansion and improvement in Davao International Airport and Laguindingan Airport Projects worth P40.57-billion and P14.6-billion, respectively, for completion in 2025; and the much-anticipated 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1, Segment 1 worth P35.26 billion that will connect Davao City, Tagum, and Digos.
“An aggressive infrastructure program aims to link isolated communities with the mainstream of growth,” Dominguez said.
Aside from the government’s infrastructure initiatives, he added the government signed a deal with Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help fund other important infrastructure projects on Mindanao.
“The ADB has also been generously assisting us in funding important infrastructure projects that would spur economic development in this island,” he said.