There was no mention of the super regions, including the “Mindanao agribusiness” super region, in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 2009 State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27 but recent updates show that this year, Mindanao got the biggest chunk in infrastructure releases.
The updates were given during the 13th Agribusiness Mindanao Super Region Interagency meeting held here Wednesday. Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Bashir Rasuman, in his Powerpoint presentation, showed that the national government released the highest amount – P18.645 billion, for Mindanao’s nine of 23 SONA infrastructure projects under the DPWH.
The amount is higher than those released to Central Philippines (P18.322 B), and the combined total of P11 billion for North, Central, South Luzon and Metro Manila. The Mindanao super region is among the five super regions President Arroyo unveiled in her 2006 SONA to stimulate economic growth and development and “make the country in step with the rest of its Asian neighbors.” “It’s the first time Mindanao is highest (in infrastructure releases). GMA (President Arroyo) is good in infrastructure in Mindanao,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said, drawing applause.
By percentage, however, the Central Luzon-Metro Manila-Calabarzon area received 100 percent of its P3.898 billion budget allocation for the SONA projects while Mindanao received only 94.3% (P18.6 billion). The total cost of the 23 projects is P55.7 billion, of which the Mindanao projects account for 35.5%. Read more. This story was first published at MindaNews.com.