The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is exploring the opportunity to tap financing and technical support from World Bank for its proposed Infrastructure Development Plan for Greater Metropolitan Sulu.
In his report to Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain said that World Bank has expressed interest to provide funding support to DPWH-proposed infrastructure projects in Sulu aimed at reviving the status of the province of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as a main economic and trade hub not only for Mindanao but for the Philippines.
Undersecretary Sadain and Dr. Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei, met on July 7, 2022 and discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation on planned developmental projects specifically roads and bridges; water supply system; sanitation development; and urban renewal at coastal communities.
The World Bank executive reaffirmed the Bank’s support to DPWH initiatives that will address Sulu’s need for clean water and proper sanitation, opportunity to improve transportation facilities that will also benefit delivery of agricultural products, development and promotion of various heritage and tourism potentials, building of sustainable communities and eventual decline of armed conflict due to available and improved economic opportunities.
“I am grateful to the World Bank for showing the desire to partner anew with DPWH on projects that will help in the food security program, raise living standards of people, and in advancing economic transformation of Sulu”, Secretary Bonoan said.
Other than Undersecretary Sadain and Dr. Diop, the meeting at the DPWH Central Office was attended by DPWH UPMO Project Directors Ramon Arriola III and Sharif Madsmo H. Hasim; Project Manager Shirley Castro; and World Bank Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for the Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand (BMPT) Program Ms. Madhu Raghunath together with Ma. Fiorella Fabella, Mavi Ladia, and Hope Gerochi.
Pursuant to Section 37 Article 13 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, DPWH is committed to bringing development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region specifically in the construction and maintenance of national roads and bridges, water supply services, and flood control and irrigation system.
“By coming up with several infra projects, community-driven development and social services, the aspirations of the people of Sulu who have suffered from decades of conflict and underdevelopment will be addressed with positive change in terms of employment and opportunities to escape poverty”, said Undersecretary Sadain, DPWH Alternate Representative and Focal Person for BARMM.
Proposed DPWH – World Bank partnership for Sulu has the following scope of activities: preparation of a detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works and construction supervision for Sulu Mainland Water Supply Project; preparation of a feasibility study, detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works and construction of Jolo Sanitation Development Program; preparation of detailed engineering design, conduct of civil works, and construction supervision for the 161-kilometer Sulu Circumferential and 77-kilometer Transcentral Roads, and additional 42-kilometer loop roads; preparation of master plan and feasibility studies, detailed engineering design, and conduct of civil works and construction supervision for Urban Renewal Program at Coastal Communities.
Under DPWH Department Order 87, Sulu Circumferential Road in the first and second legislative districts was recently converted into national road under the jurisdiction of DPWH thru the Regional Project Management Office – BARMM and Regional Office 9.