By Cai Ordinario, July 27 2018; Business Mirror


Image Credit to NEDA/Wikipedia

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) on Thursday said that there could be some “minimal” changes in the financing of some proposed projects in Mindanao in light of the anticipated passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

In a briefing on Thursday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that while there may be some changes, these would hardly be noticed.

There are some 4,490 projects under the Public Investment Program (PIP) 2017-2022, the Neda said, a third of which, or some 1,340 are located at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“We will have to review our plans in terms of the new landscape [after BOL passage]. We haven’t done that yet because the law has yet to be implemented. But there would be some [possible] changes, which shouldn’t be too drastic. It’s only the new Bangsamoro region [that would likely be affected with these changes],” Pernia said.

Neda Undersecretary for Investment Programming Rolando G. Tungpalan, for his part, said projects that are funded by loans will be allowed to continue.

The changes, he added, may be implemented on projects that have yet to begin. He said these alterations may be made, particularly on the financing aspect.

“In fact, many of the ARMM projects carried out by [Department of] Public Works with a MOA [memorandum of agreement] between our national public works and local public works so the implementation arrangement will just continue for a time,” Tungpalan said.

Neda Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro, on the other hand, said apart from infrastructure projects, adjustments have to be made among projects in other sectors.

Navarro also said the Neda will be assisting the Department of the Interior and Local Government  in helping local government units (LGUs) make these adjustments through various technical assistance.

Meanwhile, in terms of the capability of LGUs in implementing infrastructure projects, Navarro said the national government will assess the performance of the LGUs.

The private-sector stakeholders in these projects, Navarro said, will also be assessed, particularly the contractors hired to undertake the projects.

Tungpalan said the government is bent on weeding out contractors that have fallen behind schedule in implementing projects, especially projects in the regions.

“All problematic contractors, slippages to the account of the contractor of more than 15 percent will be a ground for termination. In fact,  line agencies are starting to weed out contactors that have fallen behind schedule on their own account,” Tungpalan said.

“There’s a cleaning up to make sure that we are able to deliver on time, and of course [we will also factor in] the quality of the[se] various infrastructure projects,” he added.

In a presentation on Thursday, Neda Assistant Secretary Roderick M. Planta said the 4,490 projects amount to P7.74 trillion.

The lion’s share of the amount is allocated to the transportation sector worth P4.97 trillion or 64 percent of the total.

This was followed by social infrastructure worth P1.01 trillion or 13 percent and water resources, P937.51 billion or 12 percent of the total.