By Nonoy E. Lacson
Zamboanga City – The Department of Public Works and Highways of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-AMM) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the 54th Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army for the completion of unfinished 8.5 kilometers in the Basilan Transcentral Road Phase 11 projects, costing about P200 million.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led the signing of the MOA for the swift implementation of the Basilan Transcentral Road Phase II projects at Camp Arnaldo Fernandez Jr., Friday morning.
DPWH-AMM Sec Don Mustapha Loong said that as part of the peace-building priorities of the region, the ARMM government has earmarked P199 million for the concreting of roads in Basilan.
The others who signed the MOA were Brig. Gen. Arnold F. Fernandez, brigade commander of the 54thEngineering Brigade; Loong, Lt. Col. Arnel F. Fernandez, commanding officer of the 54thEngineering Construction Battalion of the 54thEngineering Brigade; and Basilan Governor Jim S. Hataman-Saliman.
The road projects include the concreting of the five-kilometer Sampinit-Punoh-Mahadie Road in Sumisip town with an appropriation of P117 million, and the 3.5-kilometer Sampinit-Masola Road in Isabela City with an allocated budget of P82 million.
Loong said the roads form part of the Basilan Transcentral Road and were among the first roadways developed under Phase II of the Transcentral project. A total of P806.05 million was allocated for Phase II covering 34.3 kilometers.
The implementation of Phase I of the Transcentral project is currently on-going with a budget of P252 million, covering 21 kilometers.
The allocation was sourced from the 2016 regular infrastructure budget of the region.
Loong added that the Basilan Transcentral Road project is one of the key connectivity projects of Hataman in Basilan, which aims to reduce the travel time between Sumisip and Isabela City, and between Maluso and Lamitan City.
The project connects the different towns located at the center of the province to the Basilan Circumferential Road, allowing a better logistics and people interconnectivity in Basilan, Loong said.