By Allen Estabillo
KORONADAL CITY: The government is on track to complete various vital infrastructure projects in South Cotabato province and the neighboring areas before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles gave the assurance on Tuesday as he disclosed that more projects under the flagship “Build, Build, Build” program are fast-tracked in parts of the area even amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said around PHP222 million worth of priority projects have been so far completed in the province under the program by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
“These are intended to further build up our economic activities as we get back to the new normal,” he said at the fourth leg of the Kasama sa Pamana: Regional Pre-SONA (state-of-the-nation address) Series held at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center here.
Among those completed are the road widening and improvement of a 4.52-kilometer section of the road network connecting the municipalities of Surallah and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato with Maitum town in Sarangani.
He said the DPWH has also finished the widening of the 6.87-kilometer section in Tantangan town of the Midsayap-Marbel road.
In Koronadal City, three vital footbridges were constructed and improved while river control structures were installed in flood-prone portions of the Topland and Marbel rivers.
He said the DPWH has also completed the widening of the Surallah-Lake Sebu road sections, which includes four bridges.
“We have ongoing potable water system projects as well as other necessary infrastructure that addresses the needs of our communities,” he said.
Among the ongoing projects under the “Build, Build, Build” in the area is the PHP3.4 billion road network that connects General Santos City and the municipalities of Surallah and Tboli in South Cotabato province.
The DPWH aims to complete the remaining sections of the 66.69-kilometer bypass road before the end of the year.
Nograles said the projects are designed to contribute to the economic growth of the area, especially with the expected full completion later this year of the PHP959 million expansion and rehabilitation of the General Santos City International Airport.
The airport project, which included the construction of a new passenger terminal building, is now about 96-percent complete.
Philippine News Agency