RDC 12 to lobby for P11.2-B investments

Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez said officials of the region's four provinces and five cities will lead the gathering, dubbed Resource Mobilization Forum (RMF), on Wednesday, November 15 at the Manila Hotel.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato, Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tacurong.

"We will present various investment packages and development opportunities in our region directly to the decision-makers of our national government and foreign funding agencies and hopefully we can forge some fresh partnerships by the end of the day," said Dominguez, who heads the RMF technical working group.

Cabinet officials, members of the House of Representatives and the Mindanao Economic and Development Council have so far confirmed to join the forum, he said.

Dominguez, who was designated by the council to jumpstart the sales pitch during the forum, said they have lined up at least 24 priority development packages based on the region's Medium-Term Regional Development Plan and Investment Program.

The proposed packages covers: road network development worth P8.5 billion; seaports development worth P531 million; establishment of integrated terminal worth P6 million; technical assistance to local government units worth P9.2 million; hospital upgrading P90 million; environment conservation and protection worth P1.96 billion; industrial development worth P22.8 million; and, tourism development worth P50 million.

The road development sector will cover at least eight critical road projects that would link major production, tourist and trading centers within and outside the region while the seaports development component focuses on the construction of the Cotabato City seaport.

For the establishment of integrated terminal package, the RDC is seeking funding for the conduct of a feasibility study for the development of integrated terminals in the cities of  General Santos, Cotabato and Koronadal and the municipalities of Midsayap and Kabacan in North Cotabato and Surallah in South Cotabato.

The proposed technical assistance to local government units focuses on the preparation of transportation and drainage master plans for General Santos City and Koronadal City and a feasibility study for a potable water supply system for Koronadal.

The hospital upgrading package includes the modernization of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, construction of Acute Psychiatric Ward for General Santos City District Hospital and the preparation of feasibility studies for the establishment of the Sarangani provincial hospital and a Regional Drug Rehabilitation Center in Alabel, Sarangani.

For the environment conservation and protection package, the RDC is seeking funding assistance for the Allah Valley Landscape Development and Management Project, Kabulnan Biodiversity Conservation Project and the Mindanao River Basin and Watershed Management Programs.

Under the industrial development package, the RDC is seeking investments for the establishment of a Halal product laboratory center in General Santos City and Cotabato City and a regional packaging, research and development center in Cotabato City.

The tourism development package is focusing on the development of the eco-tourism potentials of Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato .

The RDC initially planned to launch the forum in June last year but it did not push through due to lack of preparation and funding. 

The upcoming Manila Hotel forum is funded through contributions from the region's four provincial governments and five city governments. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)