ALMOST 40% of the government’s 194 flagship infrastructure projects will rise in Mindanao, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.
“To date, we have 194 high-impact Infrastructure Flagship Projects, estimated at P8.3 trillion. Out of these projects, 93 are either ongoing or approved for implementation. Seventy-six are located right here in Mindanao with an indicative total cost of P2.4 trillion,” Mr. Diokno said during the Philippine Economic Briefing in Davao on Wednesday.
These include the Davao Public Transport Modernization project, which is the country’s “first-ever network solution to urban congestion,” Mr. Diokno said.
“We also have the Mindanao Railway Project, the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge, the Davao City Expressway, and the Panguil Bay Bridge, which will be finished by June next year,” he added.
Other projects include the Bukidnon airport, the New Siargao Sayak airport, and New Zamboanga airport.
Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said Mindanao projects will be receiving P807 billion from the 2024 budget.
“From infrastructure to tourism to clean energy, the island of Mindanao is uniquely positioned to power the country’s economic progress and lead our transformation journey in the years ahead,” Mr. Diokno added.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Vice-President for Mindanao Arturo M. Milan said Mindanao has many areas of opportunity for growth.
“There are a lot of bright spots, especially for us here in Mindanao. Transport, infrastructure, healthcare, education, agriculture, digitalization and energy,” he said.
However, he noted the need to address high power costs in order to attract more investment.
“In my opinion, the aspect of energy security has to be present. Otherwise, all these bright spots in our economy will not be possible… it will bring the country to an uncompetitive situation compared to neighboring countries, in investment, tourism, and trade,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson