• Socsksargen devt project office’s term extended

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    President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order extending the operations of South Cotabato/North Cotabato/Sultan Kudarat/Saranggani/General Santos City (Socsksargen) Area Development Project Office (ADPO).

    Executive Order 11 dated December 29, 2016 and signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, said the term of the Socsksargen ADP office is ex tended to December 31, 2022 to ensure full implementation of the government’s programs and projects in the region.

    “In order to continue growth, ensure that programs and projects supported by the national government are fully implemented and to facilitate sustainable mechanism for agri-fishery industry competitivenes, there is a need to extend the term of the Socsksargen ADPO,” the executive order read.

    The order noted that the initial funds necessary for implementation of the extension shall be taken from such available sources as may be identified by the Department of Budget and Management.

    “Succeeding funding for the operational requirements of the Socsksargen ADPO shall be included in the budget of the Department of Agriculture [DA] in the General Appropriations Act based on the work and financial program as submitted by the DA and endorsed by the Regional Development Council XII,” it said.

    Socsksargen ADPO, a special project unit of the DA, mainly coordinates, implements and monitors programs and projects in the area that are in support of the DA’s food security program as well as development plans and initiatives that complement the government’s peace efforts.

    The DA unit’s project area specifically covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Tacurong, which are all part of Region 12.

    Socsksargen ADPO’s term initially expired on December 31, 2010 based on provisions of Executive Order 507 issued on February 15, 2006.

    But it was extended by then-President Benigno Aquino 3rd until December 31, 2016 by virtue of EO 16 issued on December 21, 2011.

    President Duterte issued the order “in view of the continuing need to fast-track the construction of vital infrastructure [airports, seaports, fishports, irrigation facilities and road networks] and to sustain regional efforts particularly in the implementation of food security and key development plans and programs in support of peace and development in Mindanao.”

    CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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