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More than P15 billion worth ARMM projects implemented from 2012 to 2015

 • 23:57 PM Fri Jan 15, 2016
John Unson
Engineer Zainal Mlok explains how his office constructed 116 classrooms in Maguindanao in just three months during a meeting in Davao City.(John Unson)

DAVAO CITY – The eight congressional district engineering offices (DEOs) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) accomplished more than P15 billion worth of projects in the past three years.Documents obtained from state auditors guarding all of ARMM’s expensive infrastructure thrusts indicated that the office of the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, even allocated P10 billion more for within ceiling” projects in 2016.The regional government also has a separate P8.9 billion budget for above ceiling” projects also to be implemented within the year.The region’s eight district engineers complemented the findings of auditors with photos and high-technology drone aerial video shots of their 2012-2015 projects, which they presented individually during their January 13-15 Outbound Staff Meeting (OSM) in Davao City. In Basilan province alone, projects sprouted like mushrooms and keeps sprouting everywhere and people just so love having them in their surroundings,” said Engineer Soler Undug.In the second district of Maguindanao, the office of Engineer Zainal Mlok constructed 116 classrooms from August to November 2015.The office of Mlok have also concreted more than 50 kilometers of roads and opened up new arterial networks linking poor peasant enclaves also in the same year.The three-day 22ndOSM here of the Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM was a forum meant to tackle recommendations on how each of the region’s eight District Engineering Offices (DEOs) can hasten the implementation of flagship projects in 2016.Engineer Don Mustapha Loong, ARMM’s public works secretary, said the quarterly OSM is also a venue where commendable feats of DPWH employees in implementing projects in the region’s five provinces can be discussed to boost personnel morale.Also discussed during the OSM here were security problems experienced by DPWH-ARMM employees in hostile areas in the region, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Management of projects in some areas is very challenging because of the presence of rebel groups. Still, the DEOs are doing their best in order to have these infrastructure projects completed on time,” Loong pointed out.District engineers reported having experienced pro temp stoppage” and continuing suspension of some projects in certain areas in 2015 due to disputes among local leaders and the presence of armed groups disturbing construction workers.Government engineers, when invoking the technical term pro temp stoppage,” meant temporary suspension of projects owing to various constraints.Loong, during the OSM here, hailed as very positive the two-kilometer weekly accomplishment in paving of farm-to-market roads by the DEO in Basilan, to be concreted soon.Engineer Luvizminda Sani, chief of Lanao Del Sur’s 1stDEO, mentioned in a report that an on-going flagship project in the province, the Marawi-Kapai-Tagoloan Road, will cut by an hour the two-hour travel time from Marawi City to Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10.Marawi City, which is inside ARMM, is the seat of the Lanao del Sur provincial government, which has jurisdiction over 38 towns.The 2ndDEO in Lanao del Sur, under Engineer Abib Arumpac, is presently constructing another flagship project, the vaunted Lake Dapao Circumferential Road, which will interconnect hinterland Maranaw settlements in the second district of the province.Arumpac said the project already reached the attention of local and foreign investors, who have signified readiness to put up viable agricultural ventures in potential sites the road would soon interconnect.

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