South Cotabato Vice Governor Eliordo Ogena said SPDA “initially planned to invest P10 million for the construction of the proposed business center's building”.
“(SPDA) is planning a big project in the area. They initially want to develop a business center that will eventually serve as the center of commerce in that part of the city,” he said.
Ogena said the project was one of the priorities of the agency, which he added has shifted its focus from community development to corporate ventures. Officials unveiled the plan as part of its ongoing initiative to transform the sprawling SPDA compound into a prime business complex, he said.
He said SPDA wants to attract top locators, among them the popular fastfood chain McDonalds, to the proposed business center.
The SPDA property currently hosts several government offices and lodging facilities. It is located about a kilometer away from the main commercial district of Koronadal. It is just beside the South Cotabato Productivity and Technology or Protech Center and adjacent to the provincial capitol, provincial hospital and several private and government offices and schools.
Ogena said he attended a gathering earlier week hosted by officials from the SPDA in Region 12 and the central office.
The SPDA was created in 1975 as an agency attached to the Office of the President during the administration of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
It was given the mandate “to foster and accelerate the balanced growth of Mindanao, Sulu archipelago and Palawan for the national economic, social and political stability, to make it more responsive to the national plans and policies within the context of national solidarity with the leadership, support and total commitment of the government.”
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo deactivated SPDA in 2002 but re-established it four years later and placed it under the oversight of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process by virtue of Executive Order 560. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)