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PIA Press Release

SPDA to revive projects worth P500-M

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (10 October) -- Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator Secretary Datu Zamzamin Ampatuan announced that SPDA will revive its corporate projects which are already in the pipeline costing some P500 million.

Ampatuan who was the guest at the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City said making these projects viable is his motivation to carry on.

"The SPDA before was laden with problems and controversies but we have to move forward. From where we have lost that's where will start again even how bad it was in the past," he said.

Ampatuan bared that SPDA's reactivation was based through Executive Order No. 560 and was granted P70 million to get priorities moving.

He said the P3 million is a start up fund which they will use until December to clean up offices and put in some improvements.

Ampatuan said that SPDA's budget for 2007 would be about P900 million but because next year's budget was already passed it will be requested as a supplemental budget of the national government. Funding of SPDA is subsidized by the national government.

Primarily the SPDA was created to go for risk investment even as Ampatuan said that SPDA need to go to post conflict areas for risk investment so that economic activity in the areas will pick up.

He said they could not afford to be going beyond the risk of 30 percent nor sacrifice corporate integrity. There will be more strategic projects which will be monitored.

"But we can only risk up to 30 percent because beyond that it may no longer be viable," he said.

He cautioned however that short of P300 million they cannot operate.

According to Ampatuan, SPDA December will have complete projections of the project status they hope to carry out and that by early next year they can already have two projects and before election in 2007 SPDA is back to business.

In choosing areas where to invest, he said there should be relative peace in these areas.

Ampatuan clarified that employees of the deactivated SPDA are considered separated and their benefits had been paid although he said that some 20 personnel were already taken in and that before 2007 they expect to increase the workforce to 84 and separated employees have the sane opportunity to apply. (PIA XI) [top]

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