AusAid, DILG ink MOA with Bukidnon and MisOr for PRMF projects


AusAid, DILG ink MOA with Bukidnon and MisOr for PRMF projects

Cagayan de Oro City (4 September) -- The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in separate occasions with the local government units of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental last September 1 and 2, 2009 respectively for the Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF).

His Excellency Rod Smith, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, and DILG Undersecretary for Local Government Austere Panadero sealed the partnership with the two LGUs headed by Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri, Jr. of Bukidnon and Governor Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental for the implementation of the PRMF projects in the 2 provinces.

PRMF is a governance reform program that will use road maintenance funding as an incentive to change. The project will provide funding to selected provinces for: a) building capacity of key provincial departments for improved asset management; b) selective rehabilitation of existing core provincial roads and bridges; and c) maintenance of core provincial roads in conjunction with national, municipal and barangay roads.

Ambassador Rod Smith, in giving the overview of the PRMF project, emphasized that the selection process was a rigorous one, but the commitment to road maintenance and the dedication to good governance by the provinces were also considered as basis in selecting the provinces.

Out of the ten provinces in Visayas and Mindanao chosen to benefit in this project, 3 comes from Region 10–Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental. Others beneficiaries are in Bohol, Guimaras, Agusan del Sur, and Surigao del Norte (3 more will be selected by the AusAid).

Undersecretary Panadero cited in his speech that region 10 is blessed to have 3 provinces included in the roster of beneficiaries for the PRMF project. He said the project aims to form synergy in the Northern Mindanao provinces.

On May 21, 2009, the provincial government of Misamis Occidental signed the MOA with Ambassador Smith and the DILG officials for the project.

Earlier, a ceremonial groundbreaking and capsule laying of a PRMF project at a portion of the Guilang-Guilang-Kalampigan-Kalabugao Road (GGKKR) at the junction of Sayre Highway in Sitio Damay, Barangay San Vicente of Sumilao, Bukidnon and Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon transpired last July 21, 2009 with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo leading the activity. Present were Australian Charge d'Affaires Steve Scott, DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Cabinet members and local officials.

Governor Zubiri gave a short message of thanks to the grant assistance given by AusAid and to the DILG for its assistance during the MOA signing in Malaybalay City.

Meanwhile, Governor Moreno, expressed same sentiment of gratitude to AusAid and DILG for bringing the project to the province during the signing at the Provincial Capitol building.

He assured the Australian government, including the DILG, that the province will exert effort to effectively implement the project and not to put to waste the funds intended for the project.

With regards to the DILG's role in the project, DILG 10 Regional Director Loreto Bhagwani said that the Department's primary role is to advocate for the sustained interest and commitment of the LGUs towards the project.

The office will assess and monitor the LGU's performance during the implementation, and review the design and capacity building program for LGUs to ensure those are aligned with national government policies.

Also present during the MOA signing were Vice Governor Alex Calingasan, Malaybalay City Mayor Florencio T. Flores, Jr. and local chief executives of the project sites in Bukidnon namely Mayor Julia Okinlay (Impasugong), Mayor Edilberto Ayuban (Dangcagan), Mayor Ma. Victoria Pizarro (Don Carlos), Mayor Julian Caballero, Sr. (Kadingilan), Mayor Luciano Ligan (Kibawe), Mayor Jose Obedencio (Maramag), Mayor Marie Ann Baula (Sumilao) and Mayor Stewart Leonardo (Quezon).

Present in the signing for Misamis Oriental were Vice Governor Norris Babiera, Mayor Dixon Yasay of Opol and Mayor Redentor Salvaleon of Claveria. The DILG program officers and some local officials and functionaries were also there to witness. (DILG) - - Austere Panadero

Boracay, Aklan