COTABATO CITY: The Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH–ARMM) will allocate most of its infrastructure budget – about P6.889 billion – to build more roads across the region.
Don Mustapha Loong, DPWH–ARMM secretary, said the 238 road projects – with a total length of 361.65 kilometers – would cost roughly P6.889 billion, or 68 percent of the total P10.103 billion earmarked under the region’s infrastructure program this year.
He said, aside from the roads, the total 2018 infrastructure budget of DPWH–ARMM will be spent for 472 projects which include 40 seaports, 86 water supply systems, 39 bridges, 17 flood control structures, 20 drainage systems and 32 others.
The DPWH–ARMM earlier projected it would pave a total of 1,922.982 kilometers of roads across the region from 2012 to 2017.
As of December 2017, it had already completed 1,334 kilometers while a total of 420.356 kilometers of road concreting projects still ongoing.
“With more infrastructure projects, people in the region will have better access to tourism sites, will help boost the region’s economy as transport of goods and products will be cheaper and will help uplift the peoples’ lives,” Loong said.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said infrastructure development is one of their top priorities adding that more infrastructure projects built would equate to greater impact in the lives of the people in the region.
Meanwhile, a Level II water supply system, or communal faucet units, was turned over to the local government unit of Panglima Estino in Sulu on January 4.
The water system now supplies the town with safe and potable water, when in the past, the town sourced its drinking water from deep wells and water pumps that put the lives of residents at risk from water-borne diseases.
To promote transparency and efficiency, the DPWH-ARMM harnesses the E-ARMM system aimed at establishing a database containing information on road projects including connectivity conditions and other public infrastructure projects within the region. The network involves the regional office and eight district engineering offices that will serve as data repository.
“With the E-ARMM system, identification of right projects will be made easy leading towards accelerating the socio-economic condition of the ARMM and the public can easily check paved and unpaved roads in the region,” Loong said.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL