DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) – The Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), a government-owned and controlled corporation, will construct a modern medical city in its 4.7-hectare property currently occupied by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 11 in Catalunan Pequeño, Davao City.
Newly-appointed SPDA administrator and chief executive officer Abdulgani “Gerry” A. Salapuddin said during his acceptance speech on Wednesday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao that the modern hospital will be called Asia Pacific Medical City worth P10 billion to be implemented through public-private partnership.
The medical city is envisioned to have a college of medicine, commercial complex, and other amenities to serve the people of Davao City and Mindanao, Salapuddin said.
“Since our most important wealth is health of our people, then we must endeavor to build our modern and state-of-the-art medical and hospital industry for a healthy and strong Mindanao,” he said.
Salapuddin was a former member of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). He was Basilan governor from 1988 to 1998, congressman from 1998 to 2007, and then went into private life until his appointment to SPDA as administrator by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The official said they have asked the President to issue an executive order returning the properties occupied by DAR 11 to SPDA so that they can proceed with the construction of the hospital as they have already started working on its master development plan, including the design concept drafted by a group of architects, engineers, and economists.
Salapuddin said they are also planning to develop the properties of SPDA in Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Marawi, Davao City, and Zamboanga City as the agency has been tasked to make Mindanao the “southern frontier, not the southern backdoor” by the President.
He said SPDA has lined up short-term and long-term development projects in all the properties awarded by the government to the GOCC, including the immediate repair and rehabilitation of its existing buildings in the Koronadal Business Center, ice plant in Pikit, and fishpond in Vitali, Zamboanga City.
He said the technical team is completing the conceptual designs that will be presented to local and foreign investors for partnership or joint venture investments.
Salapuddin said they plan to hold trade missions to member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), countries in the Middle East, China, Japan, and some European countries.
“I will try to deliver and pursue the commitments of the President for peace and development. I will pursue the mandates by law of SPDA,” he added.
A corporate vehicle for peace and development, he said the GOCC can implement any socio-economic development programs such as mining, oil exploration, power generation, business ventures of any sorts, that can add up to the socio economic benefits and upliftment of the people.
The SPDA exercises the power of a corporation; acquires, leases, or holds personal and real properties; engages or invests or extends loans and guarantees or to enter into joint ventures with Filipinos and foreign investors; exercises the right of eminent domain; and contracts indebtedness and issue bonds. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)