GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Development planners in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) are pushing the funding and implementation of billions worth of additional priority projects to further accelerate the region’s economic growth.
Mayor Ronnel Rivera, the chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12, said Tuesday the projects comprise vital infrastructure facilities that are expected to help enhance the area’s recovery from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said these were earlier endorsed by members of the RDC-12 as part of the area’s medium to long-term priority development initiatives.
“These are designed to complement with the expansion of the region’s economic activities and development of more growth areas,” he said in a statement.
Rivera said the bulk of the proposed projects are the opening and upgrading of road networks and bridges that will enhance intra- and inter-regional connectivity.
He said it specifically involves 10 components, covering 220 kilometers of roads and 450 lineal meters of bridges worth around PHP31.5 billion.
The mayor said they are also pushing for the expansion and upgrading of the Makar port and the fishport complex here as well as the Glan port in Sarangani province that requires a funding of around PHP1.7 billion.
Over PHP1 billion is also needed to complete the expansion of the city international airport and set off the planned development of an “aerotropolis” in the area.
Rivera said they also set as a priority the construction of quarantine and isolation facilities worth PHP1.2 billion in at least eight government hospitals.
He said they also propose the release of an additional PHP1.1 billion for the construction of 32 more evacuation centers in strategic areas within the region’s four provinces and four cities.
The mayor said they are continually working with various national government agencies and officials to help lobby for the funding of these projects.
He said they presented these early this month to the Mindanao Development Authority, in line with the Mindanao Leaders Forum dubbed “Mindanao Speaks Up.”
In August last year, the RDC-12 identified around PHP124 billion in proposed public and private investments to help the region fully recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Set under the Soccsksargen’s Rehabilitation and Resiliency Plan for 2021-2022, the priority initiatives require investments of PHP90.82 billion for 2021 and PHP33.70 billion for 2022. (PNA)