Philippines

Philippines: OPAPP supports 'road for peace' projects in Mindanao

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by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (4 November) -- Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. has expressed his his full support for the non-stop construction of infrastructure projects, particularly roads and bridges, in Mindanao.

"These projects will benefit the people," he said.

"Despite intermittent fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels in Mindanao since August 18, the government has not stopped infrastructure projects in the region as construction of "road for peace" projects worth P4.727 billion (US $945 million) continues without let-up," said an Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) online news.

This is a government strategy to improve the economic development of Mindanao which is known as the food basket in the Philippines, the news added.

The construction is being done by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO) said the biggest project is the P3.619 billion (US $723.4 million) Surigao-Davao Coastal Road that connects the provinces of Davao and Surigao.

Two other projects under construction are the P500 million (US $10 million) Dinagat Island road network and the Hawilian-Salug-Sinacungan-Malaybalay Road worth P90 million. Construction of the 30-kilometer Awang-Upi Road in Maguindanao worth P518 million (US $13.3 million) is also in full blast.