The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will sustain working with the Bangsamoro government to ensure that necessary infrastructure are provided for the people of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
DPWH Senior Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, designated alternate representative of Secretary Manuel M. Bonoan to the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) composed of leaders from both the National and Bangsamoro governments, underscored at the 12th IGRB meeting held December 1, 2022 in Davao City the DPWH steadfast support to the BARMM through continued assistance in the Region’s requirements for national infrastructure development projects.
Budget and Management Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman and BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal as Co-Chairs of the IGRB presided the meeting attended by Senator Robinhood Padilla; Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr.; Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur C. Abalos Jr.; Finance Secretary Benjamin C. Diokno; Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo; Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim; and other representatives of national agencies and BARMM ministry.
The IGRB was created through the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019 and
is mandated to coordinate and resolve issues between the two (2) governments through regular consultation and continuing negotiation.
As one (1) of the member agency of national government to the IGRB, Senior Undersecretary Sadain reported that a new unit of DPWH is being proposed for creation to solely focused on the planning, construction and maintenance of national roads, bridges, flood control systems, water supply and other national public works and infrastructure projects in BARMM.
No less than President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., in the aftermath of the recent Typhoon “Paeng” wherein various national roads and bridges along the BARMM especially in Maguindanao where damaged, has recommended the establishment of DPWH district office to fast track the implementation of infrastructure projects and expedite repairs of affected bridges and national roads to restore mobility after the onslaught of natural calamities.
IGRB has served as a joint mechanism for the national and Bangsamoro governments to push forward the Bangsamoro peace process in the face of the health, peace and security challenges the nation continues to confront.
Aside from the IGRB, the DPWH represents the national government as co-chair in the Intergovernmental Infrastructure Development Board (IIDB) which is among the mechanisms to strengthen intergovernmental relations and shall be responsible for coordinating and synchronizing national and Bangsamoro infrastructure development plans.
In line with the Bangsamoro Organic Law that requires the national government to fund and implement infrastructure projects, DPWH thru its Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations headed by Senior Undersecretary Sadain is spearheading the delivery of much-needed infrastructure services in the Bangsamoro Region.
DPWH big-ticket projects for improved mobility of people and for better access to goods and services in the Region financed by Official Development Assistance (ODA) are the completed 18.97 kilometers Marawi Trans Central Road Phase 1 under the Programme for the Support to Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Marawi City and its Surrounding Areas financed by grant-aid from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); the on-going Asian Development Bank (ADB) – funded Reconstruction and Development Plan for a Greater Marawi – Stage 2 which is a Master Development Plan geared towards inclusive economic growth for Marawi City and its peripheral areas; Road Network Development Project in Conflict-Affected Areas in Mindanao (RNDP-CAAM) under JICA loan involving development, construction and improvement of about 174.50 kilometers of access roads connecting BARMM and other regions in Mindanao including the 19.8 kilometers Marawi City Ring Road and 18.78 kilometers Marawi Trans-Central Road Phase 3.
The DPWH is also helping spark meaningful growth in other BARMM provinces with the on-going construction of three (3) bridges in Tawi-Tawi under the ADB-funded Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project; China-funded Mindanao River Basin
covering Ambal-Simuay River and Rio Grande de Mindanao River Flood Control Projects in Central Mindanao under loan negotiation stage; ADB-funded Agus River Basin under detailed engineering design; proposed World Bank financing of Infrastructure Development Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Sulu involving multi-sectoral projects of roads and bridges for the Sulu Circumferential Road, water supply and system sanitation development; and proposed construction of new iconic bridge connecting with the island in the Province of Basilan.
Utilizing the quick response fund, DPWH Regional Office 12 together with BARMM-Regional Project Management Office are also undertaking the immediate repair and reconstruction of eight (8) identified priority bridges in Maguindanao damaged by the onslaught of Typhoon “Paeng” in October 2022 namely Kabulnan, Sarakan, Nituan, Tinabon Bridge, Tapayan, Tapian Simuay, and Siawan.