Governors hail Australia aid to provinces’ roads-A A +A
Friday, August 3, 2012
EXCLUDING the province of Camiguin, four Northern Mindanao governors hailed on Wednesday the Australian government’s help to maintain the road facilities of their respective provinces even as they expressed optimism that the Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF) boosts local economy.
Gov. Herminia M. Ramiro of Misamis Occidental; Gov. Alex Calingasan of Bukidnon; Gov. Khalid Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte, represented by his administrator, Lito Quibranza; and Gov. Oscar S. Moreno of Misamis Oriental, represented by vice governor Norris Babiera; all said that the PRMF, a five-year (2009-2014) road maintenance program, has multiplying benefits to their respective provincial administration.
“At first impression, I thought that the PRMF program is only concerned on road maintenance. Eventually, when I became governor (in 2010) I realized that the project also aims to introduce good governance especially the performance of the employees to improve. We did not even attend any seminars because the previous administration would not allow us or the employees…(for him) it’s a waste of time,” Calingasan said in a press briefing shortly after a two-day forum on road management reforms in Cagayan de Oro.
Babiera, for his part, hopes that the Australian government, through PRMF, would go beyond 2014 as he admitted that more provincial roads in Misamis Oriental need the program.
Quibranza noted several changes and enhanced good governance in Lanao del Norte’s administration after the province was included, for the first time, in the project.
Ramiro was surprised of the project, saying she had the hardest adjustment in office as most of her office staff are more busy on attending seminars and workshop on the five key reform areas under the PRMF program.
PRMF, a five-year P4.3-billion project of the Governments of the Philippines and Australia, targets to enhance five areas for good governance in the provincial level, which are to sustain road services planning and delivery; transparent and accountable budget and expenditure management; fully functional internal control system and internal audit; human resources development and management; and transparent procurement process.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the partner-agency of the PRMF, said the Australian government actually used the PRMF as the frontliner to achieve the five key reform areas for good governance, which the present four provincial leaderships bought.
Mayor Lawrence Cruz, chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC), said he heard reports that the revenues of four province-beneficiaries from Northern Mindanao have improved following the implementation of the program in 2009.
“To be candid about the situation (of Iligan City), my city needs road maintenance, especially in the hinterlands. I wish a ‘city road management facility (CRMF)’ could be created. As RDC Chairman, I am very happy that the PRMF is very, very visible,” Cruz said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 03, 2012.