South Cotabato implements P256-M infra projects amid COVID-19

The provincial capitol of South Cotabato in Koronadal City. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 4 October) – Around P256 million worth of infrastructure projects have been implemented this year in South Cotabato province as the provincial government continued to expand its development initiatives even amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rudy Jimenea, head executive assistant of the Office of the Provincial Governor, said on Monday these projects were among the priorities adopted by the local government in consultation with concerned stakeholders.

He said the bulk of the allocation covered transport, access and circulation component or road-related projects, all funded by the provincial government.

This included 14 major upgrading, opening and widening of provincial roads and vital road networks in key areas within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.

“These are continuing projects and we have more lined up for 2022,” Jimenea said in the provincial government’s weekly radio program.

The other implemented projects were the construction of lined canals and box culverts; construction, rehabilitation and expansion of potable water systems; construction of multi-purpose buildings, multi-purpose drying pavement with warehouse and other postharvest facilities; and, rural water supply and sanitation projects.

Jimenea said these are on top of the ongoing expansion and improvement projects at the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City that includes the renovation of the old pay-wing, old building and emergency room.

The concreting of the pavement leading to the hospital’s dialysis center and the construction of its wastewater treatment facility have already been funded, he said.

The official said the provincial government has allotted some P8 million to assist the construction of a new building for the Philippine Red Cross-South Cotabato.

Jimenea said the provincial government, led by Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., is making sure that its socio-economic and development initiatives and other related services will continue as they address the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the start of the governor’s term in 2019, he said they adopted the “bottoms up” system to ensure that residents are properly consulted for planned projects in their communities.

“We don’t go to the communities with a fixed menu. We ask them what are their pressing needs and address them,” he said.

Jimenea said local government personnel and community organizers have been continually visiting communities in the province’s 199 barangays, especially the remote areas, to deliver them the right services.

He added that they will push for the implementation of more development projects as part of the COVID-19 recovery efforts. (MindaNews)