$23-B infrastructure project up for BIMP-EAGA

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines–The partnership among countries in the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines – East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga) infrastructure project commitment now accounts to $23-billion.

Of the total project, Mindanao is allotted a huge funding among other partners in the sub-national areas.

Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, Deputy Executive Director of Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) said projects were identified during the 20th Bimp-Eaga ministerial held on November 29 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The economic leaders discussed on the theme: Bimp-Eaga: Better Integration Means Productively Engaging Across Global Arena.

“This huge amount is a good sign for the economic group as we only have some $1 billion infra projects recorded as reflected in our previous development document (Bimp-Eaga Implementation Blueprint 2012 – 2016), Montenegro emphasized.

Most of the Mindanao projects are focused in the area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and Palawan.

Among the projects listed in the proposals include the Mindanao Railway System or MRS ($9 billion), Pan Borneo Highway, also known as Trans Borneo Highway, a road network on Borneo Island connecting two Malaysian states, Sabah and Sarawak, with Brunei ($7 billion), Visayas-Mindanao power grid interconnection project ($900 million), and other big ticket projects including the modernization of the Davao Sasa Port, Davao International Airport and road and development projects in ARMM area and Palawan.

The identified projects have been funded but the a feasibility study must be done to ensure the viability and smooth implementation of the projects.

President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier vowed to realize a Mindanao Railway System saying it is among the top priority f his administration.

Minda chair Secretary Abul Khayr Alonto said the infrastructure plans “aims to shape the sub-region’s future as a more relevant sub-grouping that is fully integrated into the Asean economic community.”

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