Mindanao summit to push for rationalized infrastructure projects, dev’t programs

THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said stakeholders in the southern island’s development will meet in an online summit on Feb. 10 to propose the rationalization of big-ticket infrastructure projects in the last full year of the government’s term.

Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol, MinDA chairman, said the Mindanao Speaks Up forum will tackle the progress of the Mindanao Railway, Marawi City’s rehabilitation, and the Samal-Davao bridge.

“The Marawi Rehabilitation Project is under the Task Force Bangon Marawi, the Mindanao Railway is handled by the Department of Transportation while the Davao City-Samal Bridge is a flagship project of the Department of Public Works and Highways. Of these three, the Mindanao Railway Project has raised great expectations from the people of the region as it promises convenient and easy movement of people and goods. The project, however, has not only suffered delays but also revision in the design,” Mr. Pinol said.

MinDA Deputy Executive Director Romeo M. Montenegro, in an interview, said the summit will tackle how the projects will raise productivity, sustain the gains of the peace process, and trigger recovery from the pandemic.

“It also seeks to promote collaboration among leaders to ensure the realization of the identified priority proposals under the first Mindanawon Presidency,” MinDA said in a statement, referring to the Davao origins of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

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Expected to join the forum organized by MinDA are representatives from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Southern Philippines Development Authority, and the Regional Development Committee – Mindanao Area. — Maya M. Padillo

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