SOCCSKSARGEN PLANNERS ENDORSE 20 PRIORITY DEV’T PROJECTS
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Economic planners in Region 12 or Soccsksargen have endorsed at least 20 major development programs and projects as top priorities for implementation in the next two years.
Teresita Socorro Ramos, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 12 director, said Monday the priority initiatives were identified by the Regional Development Council’s four sectoral committees following a series of consultations.
Ramos said the move was part of the updating of the region’s 2020 Annual Investment Program (AIP) spearheaded by the agency.
“These are proposed projects that cover at least two provinces and could impact the entire region and considered implementable by 2020 or beyond,” she said.
Soccsksargen covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.
Ramos said five top projects each were identified by the RDC’s social, governance and institutions development, economic and the infrastructure and utilities development sectors.
The projects were considered in terms of their contribution to the attainment of the AIP’s goals towards inclusive growth and poverty alleviation and in addressing issues or challenges affecting the sector, she said.
Development programs should be supportive of the AmBisyon Natin 2040 program; Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2030; President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s 0 to 10-point Socio-Economic Agenda; Regional Development Plan (2017-2022); Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; Paris Agreement; and, the National Security Plan (2017-2022).
A report released by NEDA-12 said the social sector considered as priorities the establishment of the Soccsksargen Regional Hospital and the South Cotabato State College in Surallah town, South Cotabato; development of human development centers, regional skills training centers; establishment of substitute Home Care for Women; and, opening of more schools for indigenous peoples.
The governance and institutions development sector pushed for the implementation of programs and projects for persons deprived of liberty or PDLs; construction of a four-story Philippine Statistics Authority building; implementation of programs for peace and development; implementation of enhanced law enforcement, crime prevention and control programs; and, the rollout of fire prevention and emergency management program.
For the economic sector, the proposed projects were the enhancement of banner programs of the Department of Agriculture for rice, corn, high-value commercial crops, livestock, organic agriculture and halal; implementation of the halal industry program; development of aquaculture program focusing on milkfish, tilapia, white shrimp, seaweeds and shellfish; implementation of accelerated coconut planting and replanting program; and, rollout of the Expanded National Greening Program and Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System.
Under the infrastructure and utilities development sector, endorsed were the implementation of the Kabulnan 2 Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project and Malitubog-Maridagao Irrigation Project Phase II; implementation of more road projects; improvement of the ports and airports; upgrading of more road projects under the Roads Leveraging Linkages of Industry and Trade or ROLL-IT and the Tourism Road Infrastructure Project Prioritization Criteria or TRIPC; and, the opening of more farm-to-market roads.
Ramos said they endorsed the list of projects to the RDC 12’s full council for consideration as priorities under the region’s 2020 AIP.
She added that they expect the approval of the projects during the council’s 64th regular meeting next month. (PNA)