Piñol lays out ‘basics’ for MinDA’s projects

Published August 20, 2019, 6:15 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Ali Macabalang 

DAVAO CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) head Emmanuel Piñol has outlined the “basic” steps” for the successful implementation of major projects programmed by his agency.

ceremonial office assumption of new MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol in posterity pose with outgoing agency OIC Nathaniel Dalumpines and Norhata (wife of the late agency chair Abul Khayr Alonto) alongside reigning sultans in Maguindanao and Lanao and IP timuays (royalties) in Davao City on Monday. (ALI MACABALANG / MANILA BULLETIN)
At the ceremonial office assumption of new MinDA Chairman Manny Piñol in posterity poses with outgoing agency OIC Nathaniel Dalumpines and Norhata (wife of the late agency chair Abul Khayr Alonto) alongside reigning sultans in Maguindanao and Lanao and IP timuays (royalties) in Davao City on Monday. (ALI MACABALANG / MANILA BULLETIN)

At the official takeover ceremony of the MinDA last Monday here, Piñol underscored the need for the agency to address first issues on poverty, productivity and peace (3Ps) that have long frustrated efforts to turn Mindanao into the “Land of Fulfilled Promise.”

The authority has four pending priority projects – the Mindanao Railway Project, the Tawi-Tawi Free Port, the trading program in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippine East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), and the revival of the Sabah-Mindanao Barter Trade.

“The (priority) plans and programs are admirable with grand projects and ambitious targets. The questions which beg for answers are: Where are we now? How far have we gone in implementing these grandiose plans? What keeps us from realizing these dreams?” Piñol said in his speech before foreign and local dignitaries at the ceremony.

“I do not believe that there was a careful study on the sustainability of the project. I suspect that there was simply no in-depth evaluation on whether there were sufficient products to be traded,” Piñol said, referring to the Davao-Bitung Shipping Route launched two years ago by President Duterte and Indonesia President Joko Widodo.

He said the shipping route should a two-way flow of products, not just the influx of goods from Indonesia without an outflow of products from Philippines.

Piñol pointed out that because Philippines is an agricultural country, exportable goods would be mainly agriculture-based.

“The big dream to develop Mindanao and encourage more investments will never come true if we do not have the needed infrastructure,” such as good farm-to-market roads and structured institutional support packages for farmers, he said.

“Let’s go back to basics. More roads leading to the production areas and fish ports must be constructed,” he said.

He said he was “not new” to the visions and operations of MinDA because as head of the Mindanao governors league he was deeply involved in the activities of the agency’s predecessor – the Mindanao Development Council (Medco).

Piñol was governor of North Cotabato from 1988 to 2007.

 

 
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