GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 March) — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has allocated an initial P40 million for the development of its new regional office starting this year in nearby Koronadal City.
Arturo Valero, NEDA Region 12 director, said Friday such allocation will mainly fund the construction of a modern office building at the Region 12 government center in Barangay Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City that will house its various divisions and service units.
He said the NEDA central office included such funding in its budget for this year or under the 2014 General Appropriations Act.
Valero said the initial preparations are now underway for the project’s implementation, which is being assisted by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 12.
“The details of the building’s design are now being finalized by DPWH-12 architects and the construction will immediately begin as soon as it completes the bidding process,” he said.
The official said they pushed last year for the inclusion of the budget for the construction of their new office building after securing a lot at the regional government center, which is around two kilometers away from the downtown area of Koronadal City.
He said they had forged a memorandum agreement (MOA) with the city government of Koronadal, which own and maintains the regional government center, for the lot’s donation.
NEDA Region 12 has been leasing a private building since moving to Koronadal City three years ago in compliance with Executive Order 304, which designated the area as the region’s new government seat and center.
EO 304, which was issued in March 2004 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also sets the immediate transfer of all regional line agencies from Cotabato City, the previous regional center, to Koronadal City.
Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Some 40 regional lines agencies have so far fully transferred their offices while 11 other offices and bureaus have established satellite offices in the area.
The Koronadal City planning and development office cited in a report that a total of 36 regional line agencies already acquired lots at the regional center site.
Six of these line agencies have already constructed their office buildings and fully transferred to the area, one is presently under the construction phase while the others are still in the process of signing a MOA with the local government of Koronadal. (MindaNews)