Completion of Mindanao road project pushed-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Sunday, April 10, 2011
THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is pushing for the completion of a major road project traversing southern and northern Mindanao provinces to decongest traffic and enhance public access along the region's food highway.
The MinDA Board, through a resolution recently adopted, urged President Benigno Simeon Aquino, III to highly prioritize the completion of the Kapalong-Talaingod-Valencia road this year up to 2012.
Covering a total stretch of 128.16 kilometers, the Kapalong-Talaingod-Valencia road has been ongoing since 2007 but its remaining construction works may be hampered due to lack of funding.
The road project has a total cost of P3.64 billion, according to MinDA Secretary Luwalhati Antonino.
As of the latest status however, Antonino said an additional P2.29 billion is needed to complete the paving and ancillary works for the entire road stretch.
Breakdown of the total budget requirement covers P1.53 billion needed to fully pave the road and construct slope protection in Bukidnon side.
Currently, the Bukidnon road section is passable but with untouched sections due to lack of funds.
It also covers the P764.8 million needed to fully pave the road in Davao Del Norte side.
Though passable, the Davao del Norte section is prone to landslide due to unstable embankments, side cuts and steeper slopes.
The Kapalong-Talaingod-Valencia road has been converted into a national road but it has not been allocated a budget in the 2011 General Appropriations Act.
Its completion will open the Tagum City-Valencia City direct route, an alternate to Davao City-Bukidnon via Buda route.
“A budget allocation is really needed so as not to delay the project which I find it very vital not only in decongesting traffic in the Buda route but would help boost our push for more tourism,” said Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario.
Del Rosario, who also represents the CONFED-Mindanao in the MinDA board, said that the road will not only provide an alternate route for the flow of goods in Mindanao but will also help bring in tourists from Cebu and Bohol to Davao del Norte and its neighboring provinces.
“Because of more road accessibility, the movement of trade in this part of Mindanao will become faster and the price of goods will be lower and so it is now a MinDA advocacy to ask for the much-needed budget,” Antonino said.
Antonino said that improving the road network system is one of the enabling strategies being put forward by the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework.
Once completed, Antonino said the road will strategically link Davao del Norte and Bukidnon, two of the food-producing provinces in Southern and Northern Mindanao regions.
With a combined population of roughly 1.8 million, Northern and Southern Mindanao people are engaged in agriculture, mining, forestry, commercial fishing, and other economic-related activities.
The road is also expected to address peace and security concerns in the area, ensure safe and year-round transport of goods and services as well as reduce travel time within the provinces of Davao del Norte and Bukidnon by 50 percent.