THE Regional Economic and Planning Development Board (RedPB) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) deferred discussion on the region’s P1.51 billion infrastructure program for 2013 during its first regular session this year, pending result of a motion to have some scheduled road projects realigned.

The motion calls for the endorsement of a board resolution urging the central office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allow ARMM to concentrate on local road projects after it found out that most national roads in the region are already included in the national road network development plan. A similar request will also be endorsed to the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA), the region’s legislative counterpart.

The P1.51 billion 2013 infrastructure plan of the region consists mostly of road projects. At least 21 of the scheduled road projects in the region for 2012 had to be realigned by DPWH-ARMM due to double funding and to coincide with region’s convergence plan.The realignment plan awaits the approval of the RLA.

ARMM OIC-Governor Mujiv Hataman said DPWH national had included most of the national roads found in ARMM in its annual road program, thus the double funding.

He said the region would be able to optimize the annual infrastructure fund by focusing on local roads.

He also said that it is crucial for the region to sort out its road map immediately to present a clear-cut data on road development gaps.

We need to be able pinpoint exactly which roads are unpaved and in need of development. That is why, DPWH-ARMM engineers are set to work with local government officials to conduct a thorough road mapping in the coming weeks after
the RedPB board adopted a resolution urging such.

RedPB is ARMM’s highest policy-making body chaired by the regional governor and is consists of the governors of ARMM’s five component provinces, the mayors of its two cities, head of some of the major line agencies, the region’s planning office and a representative from the civil society.

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