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PIA Press Release

Commentary: ASEAN Summit gains translate to more investments, jobs for Filipinos

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (23 January) -- The Government will translate the momentum of the ASEAN and East Asian Summits into domestic gains as the Filipino leverage to international confidence to project the year 2007 as the boom year for the country.

"This, as the lingering aura of confidence and optimism from the summits will be translated to social payback that anchors both on the regional agenda, as well as, of the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP)," Regional Director Myra V. Balandra of the National Economic and Development Authority, said.

As such, the Regional Development Council (RDC) of region 10 will find ways to aggressively woo businessmen to invest in value-adding ventures and support services that will complement existing industry clusters, in consonance with the social, political and economic reform agenda of the President, she said.

Balandra who is also the RDC-10 Vice-Chairperson said with an economy that is largely agri-based, RDC-10 will be a major player in fulfilling the vision of the President to make the Mindanao Super Region the Agri-Business Center of the country.

Local government units will be in the forefront in developing cottage, small and medium enterprises (SME) of highly competitive and marketable agriculture commodities, livestock, poultry and fishery products in their areas of jurisdiction which are expected to result in higher incomes and more employment opportunities in the countryside.

Meanwhile, the realization of Region 10 as the major trading center and transshipment hub of Mindanao will be accelerated with the commencement and implementation of major infrastructure projects in strategic areas of the region.

Proposals for such projects in the region that are included in the Medium Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP) of the Mindanao Super Region, especially those that are still at the conceptual stages, will be fast-tracked to facilitate access to financing from various sources.

"Issues related to the road right-of-way (RROW), ancestral domain claims, procurement procedures and even conflicting policies, will be resolved to minimize project delays," Balandra also said.

The Laguidingan Airport Development Project (LADP) in Misamis Oriental is expected to start its civil works, the construction of access roads and the development of the second relocation site for affected families which progress will closely be tracked by RDC-10's Infrastructure Development Committee and the Regional Project Monitoring for immediate solutions to problems that may arise.

More so, priority attention will also be given to the procurement of build-operate-transfer (BOT) proponents and bidders for the Panguil Bay Bridge project in Tangub City to hasten its implementation, Balandra added. (PIA 10) [top]

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