Region 12 to hold road summit

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/6 Oct) – The Regional Development Council (RDC) of Region 12 will gather the region’s stakeholders here next week for a summit on the area’s road networks and related infrastructure.

City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, RDC 12 chairperson, said the road summit will mainly focus on discussions regarding the present state of the region’s road networks and systems as well as strategies that would address various problems, issues and concerns about the matter.

She said they have invited local government leaders, officials and representatives of national line agencies and departments, construction industry players and various sectoral leaders in the region to attend the summit, which is slated on Oct. 12.

Also known as the Soccsksargen Region, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“Through the summit, we expect to come up with an inventory of our national highways and determine the status of the implementation of government-funded road projects within the region,” Custodio said.

The mayor said they would also establish the list of priority road projects in the region that are due for conversion into national roads and set action plans for them.

According to the website of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), it has completed 55 roads, bridges and related infrastructure projects as of last August 31.

It said 46 more projects are presently undergoing construction, either by DPWH district engineering offices or by private construction companies, while eight others have not yet started.

Among the ongoing major road projects in the region are the P1.1-billion General Santos City circumferential road; P1.39-billion Maitum-Lake Sebu road in Sarangani and South Cotabato; P3-billion Kalamansig-Palimbang-Maitum road in Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani; and the P920-million Banisilan-Guiling-Alamada road in North Cotabato.

Custodio said they have invited Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who is scheduled to visit the city on Oct. 12, to join the road summit, which was among the highlights of the RDC Week celebration in the region on October 8-12.

The RDC Week celebration was initially scheduled last Sept. 24 to 28 but the council rescheduled the activity to take advantage of Singson’s visit.

“Given the significance of the presence of Sec. Singson during the road summit, the council members recommended that the summit, as well as the other activities in line with the RDC Week Celebration, be moved to October 8 to 12,” the mayor said.

Aside from the road summit, the RDC 12 will hold a tree planting activity in Sitio Upper Cadidang, Barangay San Jose in Koronadal City on Oct. 9.

An RDC-12 advisory said it is targeting to plant 900 seedlings of Mahogany and 100 seedlings of Rambutan during the activity.

Koronadal City, which is the regional seat and center of Region 12, will host a gathering of RDC 12 stakeholders and grand celebration at the city hall grounds. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)