The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in the first ever steering committee meeting, has engaged the project stakeholders to ensure effective and coordinated implementation of detailed design and construction of the Road Network Development Project in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM).
DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, designated by Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan as chairperson of the created steering committee for the implementation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-assisted RNDP- CAAM, led the meeting in Iligan City on Thursday, July 6, 2023 with leaders of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM); the local chief executives and technical personnel of the various municipalities in Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao and North Cotabato; and other relevant agencies including military with a view to getting buy-in for the road project.
“The calibre of participants here today from the Bangsamoro Region is a strong testament of the commitment to join hands, take ownership, and surmount the challenges of the road infrastructure to be constructed in areas known as war zone in past to transform into an economic zone of the future”, said Senior Undersecretary Sadain.
The meeting presents an opportunity to tackle anticipated issues and concerns as early as now.
As leaders of people living in the project area are appropriately consulted and informed of the various activities along with potential impacts, the stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate and willingly collaborate to make a success of the project, added Senior Undersecretary Sadain.
Envisioned to strengthen connectivity between BARMM and other Regions, the RNDP-CAAM involves the construction and improvement of about 174.50 kilometers of access roads.
The meeting organized by the DPWH Unified Project Management Office – Roads Management Cluster I (Bilateral) headed by Project Director Benjamin A. Bautista includes agenda on the ongoing consultation and detailed engineering design of the 35.3-kilometer Parang-Balabagan Road, 19.8-kilometer Marawi City Ring Road, 7-kilometer Parang East Diversion Road, and 16.8-kilometer Manuangan-Parang Road.
While appreciating the unflinching support of JICA to the Philippine infrastructure development, the DPWH official also reminded stakeholders that the ultimate goal of the meeting was not just to build roads but to build a better future for Mindanao.
RNDP-CAAM is one of the many efforts of the government thru DPWH to ensure that Mindanao, the land of promise with limitless potential, will further rise as a prosperous island region through infrastructure facilities that will open more opportunities.
The project was proposed with the end in mind of promoting peace and stimulating economic development, especially in vulnerable, far-flung areas.