DPWH allots 26.4% of P165B infra funds to Mindanao in 2013

PUBLIC Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson on Monday told the Senate committee on finance that about 26.4% or P43.72 billion out of P165 billion infrastructure funds for 2013 were allocated by the administration to Mindanao.

“But what mention here is what is critical here is the 26 percent that goes to Mindanao. And this will all be focused on national roads and bridges,” Singson said.

In his presentation before the committee chaired by Senate Franklin Drilon, Singson said that the agency is encountering peace and order problems in Mindanao which “somehow” slowed down the implementation of these projects.

With this, Drilon encourage peace negotiators with the rebel groups to speed up the the signing of a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to immediately address the decades-long problems of Mindanao, particularly the high poverty incidence and the poor infrastructures.

“The signing of the peace agreement will also help solve delays in the implementation of infrastructure projects and fast-track government’s efforts to boost and upgrade agricultural, tourism and commercial infrastructures in Mindanao,” said Drilon.

Other 2013 Infra budget

Singson also reported to the committee that the agency is implementing a total of P162 billion worth of projects for 2012, P49 billion of this is referred to the carry over coming from previous years principally 2012.

“P120 billion of this is what we refer to as current.  Out of the P162 billion, by the end of June, we have already obligated P105 billion which is very significant improvement from previous years,” Singson said.

In terms of actual number of projects that the agency is implementing in 2012,   a total of 2,515 projects locally funded and as of July 15, 94 percent or 2,358 projects have already been issued notices.

“In other words, they are already ongoing. That is already a 94 percent implementation as of July 15. So we are ready for more projects for 2013 and in fact we have submitted to the committee of Senator Drilon our timetable that as soon as the budget for 2013 is approved in January 1st, we should be ready and we will be ready to start implementing our 2013 projects,” he explained.

He also said that the actual disbursement in the first half of 2012 has gone up from P26 billion in 2011 to P64 billion or an increase of 2.5% or a P38 billion increase from the first semester of 2011.

Singson added that all the 2013 projects have already scheduled for bidding, short of award because the agency is still waiting for the enactment of the General Appropriations Act of 2013.

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