12 projects to spur Mindanao growth

Published March 24, 2019, 6:03 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Antonio Colina IV 

DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is pushing for the 12 catalytic projects to help bring economic development to Mindanao.

Romeo Montenegro, MinDA director for Investment Promotion, International Relations and Public Affairs, said the realization of the big infrastructure projects could change the economic landscape of Mindanao.

The projects include the 2,135-km Trans-Mindanao High-Speed Railway System (TMHSRS) worth P753.5 billion; Marawi rehabilitation for livelihood and business development, land resource management, and social services that would need P 16 billion; P42 billion for the establishment of Agro-Economic Zones in Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Agusan del Sur, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan; and P15 billion for the Tawi-Tawi Integrated Development Project/Ecozone.

Montenegro said agro-economic zones in Mindanao are crucial in transforming poor areas into productive agribusiness centers.

MinDA has identified seven pilot areas for the agro-economic zones: the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; Agusan del Sur in the CARAGA region; and Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay in the Zamboanga Peninsula at one each per province.

Joan Barrera, division chief of the Project Development Division of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), said they plan to implement the agro-economic zones through a public-private partnership scheme.

She added that a Malaysian company is doing a feasibility study for Picong Freeport and Ecozone in Picong, Lanao del Sur, and is targeting to complete the study within the year.