Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) Chairperson and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. presided over the MIMAROPA IDC meeting online via Zoom videoconference on August 7.

In his message, Governor Velasco shared that the region is still confronted with delicately balancing the need to help economies recover from the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to protect the health of the  people.  He underscored that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is not to do the “business as usual.”  He  happily noted that the  people in MIMAROPA region is positively adapting to the  new normal life.

Meanwhile, the  sectoral committee discussed and endorsed the  2019 Regional Development Report on Infrastructure, Marinduque project proposals for funding consideration of relevant agencies, the revised Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)  Road Standards for local government unit ( LGU)  adoption, and creation of the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Regional Council, and the Regional Development Council (RDC) BP2 Special Committee.

Nine project proposals were presented by Marinduque that include  the proposed Mega Bridge that will connect the province of Marinduque to the province of Quezon, Marinduque Water Supply System Project, Hydropower Development Project, Laylay Light Station Restoration and Development Project, Renovation of the Boac Public Market, among others.

Except for the proposed runway improvement/extension of Marinduque airport that were endorsed to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and Department of  Transportation  for proposed business plan study, all projects were recommended for RDC endorsement to concerned agencies for inclusion in the agency investment programs, including the Mega Bridge Project that has been recommended for Feasibility Study preparation.

Meanwhile, OIC Regional Director Susan Sumbeling of the NEDA Regional Office in MIMAROPA  presented the BP2 Program. She said that the  program aims to ensure a balanced regional development and equitable distribution of wealth, resources, and opportunities, and improve quality of life in the countryside. She emphasized that BP2 is not merely about resettling people from the National Capital Region  and other urban centers, but to facilitate regional development. Sumbeling then proceeded with her proposal for the creation of RDC Special BP2 Committee, and BP2 Communication Group at the regional level, which the body agreed and endorsed to the RDC.

The  committee also discussed the status of Calapan water quality, Calapan City airport, power and energy situation, and the status of Ibato-Iraan irrigation project in Palawan.