PGMA to finish biggest road infra project before her term ends
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (18 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo immediately asked Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya for the release of the P300 million budget intended to finish the Surigao-Davao Coastal Road after conducting a road inspection in the area Tuesday as part of her Agribusiness Legacy Tour in some parts of Mindanao.
Hosting a dinner for the media at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, President Arroyo reported to the media how their travel time was cut by half because of the recently established road network that connects Surigao to Davao Oriental.
However, she admitted that another P600 million is still needed to finish the remaining network that would connect Lingig to Boston.
The Surigao-Davao Coastal Road Project links the eastern towns of Bacuag, Surigao del Norte and Mati, Davao Oriental.
She said, its completion could speed up the transport of products and services in these areas.
"I am happy to have visited the area especially that it was known to have peace and order issues. This is so far the biggest road infrastructure project under my administration, except of course the express highways which have their own contracts," PGMA said.
National and Davao media were invited to the dinner since President Arroyo wanted to tap the media as channel to let the public know on the major projects under her administration.
She stressed her administration's priority of making Mindanao as the center for agriculture and business.
The road network is considered the biggest anti-poverty project. This would also, in turn, bring in developments in the peace aspect of the region.
"Serving as your President, I have gone to all provinces of Mindanao," she said.
The present administration claimed that it is investing in Mindanao at every level, and puts the needs of Mindanao front and center.
The President also believed that all these efforts are starting to pay off. Records showed that gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of the Mindanao Super Region grew by 42.977 percent, from P175.93 billion in 2000 to P251.53 billion in 2008. The GRDP growth rate of the Super Region expanded by 14.29 percent from an average of 6.02 percent in 2000 to 6.88 percent in 2007. In 2008, Mindanao's GRDP contributed 17.71 percent to national GDP. (PIA XI) [top]