COTABATO CITY: The Bangsamoro government through its Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has allotted P1.85-billion infrastructure projects for all 37 barangays in this city and 63 villages in North Cotabato now encompassed by the new autonomous region.
The allocation is part of Ministry of Public Works’ (MPW’s) 2021 budget worth more than 15 billion pesos, said MPW Minister Eduard Guerra in a statement released by the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO).
The MPW-pipelined projects for the 63 villages in North Cotabato include 63 road projects, three bridge projects, and a slope protection project worth 1.48 billion pesos in total, the BIO said.
The 63 barangays are located in Pikit, Pigcawayan, Kabacan, Midasayap and Carmen towns where resident-voters voted for inclusion in the territory of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the February 2019 plebiscite.
Under the MPW schedules, Pikit has the biggest budget of P445-million for 22 road projects; followed by Pigcawayan with P298.96-M for 12 road projects worth P231.96-M, a bridge project worth P60-M, and a slope protection project worth P7-M; and Kabacan with P279.2-M for seven road projects worth P259.2-million and a P20-M bridge project, the BIO said.
The towns of Midsayap, Carmen, and Aleosan will receive infrastructure projects this year worth P217-million, P208-million, and P32-million, respectively, the BIO added.
This city, on the other hand, is allotted P370-M pesos worth of road and other public works in all of its 37 barangays.
“These projects will stimulate economic activities in the areas, and will also improve people’s access to social services,” Minister Guerra was quoted as saying.
The allocations followed assessments and result of completed pre-engineering activities, submission of engineering documents, and approval of the chief minister, according to MPW.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have urged the BARMM leadership to heed the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) campaign for the formation of inter-agency provincial monitoring bodies to monitor implementation of infrastructure projects, including those major related undertakings facing delays.
In related news, the office of North Cotabato Governor Nancy Alaan Catamco has lauded the BARMM governance for providing the 63 pro-autonomy villages in her province shares from the regional infrastructure projects.
“Their (63 barangays’) option for coverage by BARMM has been paying off well. We see prospects for faster growth in such Bangsamoro-dominated communities,” a technical staff quoted Gov. Catamco as saying Wednesday.
Catamco, the first elected governor from the IP sector in North Cotabato, also appreciated the MinDA revived thrust for formation of monitoring bodies aimed at overseeing implementation stages, especially those facing delays, it was learned.
(Ali G. Macabalang/PMT/SRNY/RSP)