THE Regional Development Council (RDC) has endorsed a total of P450.1 billion worth of projects in Central Visayas for 2018.
Of the amount, P110.3 billion will be for infrastructure projects, P4.5 billion for economic-related programs, P289.9 for the “development administration sector,” and P45.4 billion for social services.
It will be up to Congress to decide how much the final budget will be.
At the RDC advisory committee meeting last week in Cebu City, infrastructure committee head Glenn Anthony Soco said that while it would be great to have all the projects included in the national 2018 Priority Programs, Activities, and Projects (PAPs), only about 30 percent of these might make it to the General Appropriations Act (GAA), based on what happened to RDC endorsements before.
But with the presence of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, as well as the strong support of lawmakers from the region, Soco said he looks forward to the approval of all these projects as well as their fast implementation.
What to build
These projects include small irrigation projects and restoration or repair of existing communal irrigation systems under the National Irrigation Authority (NIA); acquiring land for the Land Transportation Office (LTO) regional office building and district offices in Cebu and Bohol; and office expansion and acquisition of office and ICT equipment for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Meanwhile, projects under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Central Visayas would include RDC-endorsed feasibility studies for the Bohol-Cebu bridge, Negros Oriental-Cebu bridge, Bohol-Leyte bridge, and three bridges in Bohol.
DPWH also plans to pursue preventive maintenance on roads, and repair of damaged national roads including drainage systems, as well as construction and maintenance of flyovers, underpasses, and bridges.
Construction and improvement of access roads leading to airports, seaports, and tourist destinations are also among the projects lined up for DPWH.
Meawhile, economic-related programs have been proposed by 11 regional agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7, Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), as well as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Their projects include supply services for agricultural and fishery productivity, technology transfer, scholarship programs, tourism market development, and business development services.
For projects under the development administration sector, six agencies are involved: the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) 7, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILF) 7, Department of Justice (DOJ), National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 7.
Proposed projects include construction of training centers, jail facilities, and purchase of office equipment.
Social services projects were proposed by 12 agencies, including state universities. They include the Department of Education (DepEd 7), Department of Health, Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as well as Cebu Normal University, Cebu Techological University (CTU), and Siquijor State College (SSC).
Some of their proposed projects include construction of classrooms, trainings, sustainable livelihood programs, as well as family health programs.