In photo-Bangsamoro MPW Minister Edward Guerra (BMN photo)

Public Works Minister Guerra shares infra, rehab projects in the Bangsamoro

COTABATO CITY — The Minister of Ministry of Public Works (MPW) shared the ministry’s progress on implementation of infrastructure and rehabilitation projects including future programs for the Bangsamoro region during the 24th episode of Kaunlaran sa Bangsamoro hosted by Bangsamoro Multimedia Network last Thursday, November 18.
MPW Minister Architect Eduard Uy Guerra, a member of the Bangsamoro Parliament, said their mandate is to implement infrastructures here in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) based on the Administrative Code of Bangsamoro.

He added that aside from project implementation, supervision is also part of their operation and they are also conducting studies to assess the needs of the Bangsamoro.

“The national highways and ports are still in the hands of the national government since they’re the one funding and implementing it, the only scope of the ministry in these national highways and bigger ports is the monitoring and the close coordination with the National Public Works,” the minister said.  

He said projects in the barangays such as barangay roads, municipal roads, provincial roads, and small-scale flood control inside the BARMM are the direct responsibility of the ministry.

Minister Guerra clarified that the National Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of the national highways located here in the BARMM. 

“However the ministry signed a protocol just two months ago in Manila with Secretary Mark Aguilar Villar wherein they suggested that the minor maintenance and repair should just be implemented by the Ministry of Public Works with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement,” Minister Guerra narrated.

He said there were times where they felt the urgency to find ways in addressing the damages of the roads in Sultan Mastura and Sultan Kudarat going to Cotabato City while there is lack of budget allotment for maintenance from the national government this year.

“It’s our conscience--moral responsibility to take the initiative in finding ways in repairing those roads,” Guerra underscored.

He continued discussing the further projects of the MPW explaining the establishment of the eight (8) isolation facilities followed by three (3) more within the district hospitals’ compounds.

According to the minister, “It’s permanent and if we all survive this pandemic then the hospitals could be used as expansion.”

He added that “the patients were comfortable” with these facilities. He elaborated how much they want to change the peoples’ perception in public hospitals through this established and well-made isolation facilities.

Minister Guerra explained that their operations are done with close coordination with the LGUs in constructing a road map per municipality to assess and rationalize the implementation of the projects considering its urgency and the primary concern.

He also said that “It should serve a wider community” to be approved.

Regarding the street lights, he said its installation is packaged after the construction of roads, and if monitored the unlighted places will therefore be installed with Solar lights like in the Bubong street near in theSultan Bolkiah Mosque in Cotabato City.

He also conveyed the completion of the road networks in Butig and Barira connecting MILF’s Camp Busrah and Camp Abubakar.

“My policy is to prioritize the small barangays that were taken for granted during the times of conflict over the huge infrastructure projects,” Minister Guerra conveyed.

According to him, in the span of 3 years every barangay will have 3 kilometer established roads within a single barangay.

Minister Guerra also shared the Ministry of Public Works’ flagship program in the fish port of Tawi-tawi where abundant fish supplies are brought.
The project includes a cold storage facility, ice plant, and industrial part within the fish port.

“And regarding the projects this 2021, we have about 15 billion cost of infrastructure and this is equitably distributed among the five (5) provinces, 63 barangays and two (2) cities,” he said.

Meanwhile, the guest BTA member said he proposed two bills, the National Government Corporation where it will be meant to accommodate the entering investors in the region and the National Energy Corporation wherein it will accommodate the natural oil and resources.