BBL or no BBL, ARMM continues to implement infra projects

By Edwin O. Fernandez

COTABATO CITY, Sept 25 (PNA) — Despite uncertainty on the fate of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will implement this year more than P92 million worth of infrastructure projects to help improve tourism and living conditions in the region.

The projects include the P56 million Bongao Peak Eco-Tourism development; the concreting of the one kilometer Dulay-Cabasaran road and the one kilometer Cabingan-Dacung road in Marawi City, each worth P12 million; construction of water system in Datu Abdullah Sangki with an appropriation of P9 million; and the construction of a two kilometer protection dike in Mamasapano worth P3.5 million.

The region’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) together with the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG)-ARMM inked a memorandum of agreement on the implementation of the said projects with the municipal governments of Bongao in Tawi-Tawi, Datu Abdullah Sangki (DAS) and Mamasapano in Maguindanao, and the city of Marawi on September 21 and 22, 2015 at the Office of the Bangsamoro People in Cotabato City.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, DPWH-ARMM Secretary Don Mustapha Loong, Mayor Jasper Que of Bongao, Mayor Tahirodin Ampatuan of Mamasapano, Mayor Marian Mangudadatu of Datu Abdullah Sangki, and Mayor Sultan Fahad Salic of Marawi city attended the MOA signing.

Sec. Loong said the implementation of infra projects in Bongao will “boost the tourism of the municipality as it will attract more visitors and tourists in the nature park.”

On the other hand, the water system in DAS which includes the building of a water tank will provide steady supply of water for the community which, according to him, is “one of their major necessities of the people in the area.”

The two kilometer protection dike in Mamasapano will help protect the farmlands and people in the area against the seasonal overflowing of the Tukanalipao river.

“The dike will have a huge impact in flood control and in the success of the agricultural aspect and economy of the municipality,” said Sec. Loong.

The DPWH-ARMM said the infrastructure projects for Marawi City and DAS fall under the CY 2015 Regular Infra Funds of the agency, part of the more than P10 billion approved budget for the rehabilitation, construction and/or repair of local and major roads, bridges, seaports, and other infrastructure projects in the ARMM.

On the other hand, the project in Mamasapano falls under the CY 2014 Bottom-Up Budget projects of the agency.

Sec. Loong said the projects are demand-driven which have funding separate from the annual regular infrastructure funds of the agency. (PNA)