The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) MIMAROPA convened the Third Quarter Sectoral Meeting, through video conference on August 6, to discuss the national spatial strategy, transport network redundancy, and several infrastructure development concerns in the MIMAROPA region.
IDC Chairperson and Marinduque Governor Presbitero Velasco, Jr. presided over the meeting and welcomed Regional Director (RD) Agustin Mendoza as the new RD of the NEDA Regional Office (NRO) in MIMAROPA and Vice-Chairperson of the MIMAROPA Regional Development Council.
Mr. Renato Yumang of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Head Office, presented the status of the Port Zone Delineation in the region with additional inputs from Mr. Marlon Sendaydiego of PPA Port Management Office Palawan on their submission of endorsements of documents for Borac, Coron, San Fernando, and El Nido ports.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), headed by newly-appointed RD Arthur D. Pascual, reported on the status of the agency’s strategic regional infrastructure projects. Engr. Pelita Galvez of DPWH Public Private Partnership Service (PPPS) presented the status on the 15-kilometer Mindoro-Batangas Floating Bridge project and highlighted the complexity of the project that requires experts to determine the project’s feasibility. He mentioned that the DWPH-PPPS is highly considering the PPP procurement mode for the said project.
The Committee also looked into the proposed MIMAROPA Regional Government Center (RGC) project in Calapan City. DPWH consultant Architect Noel Del Rosario of NS Del Rosario + Partners (NSDR+P) presented the status and salient features of the RGC project. Meanwhile, Pascual updated the body that PHP50 million was included in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Expenditure Program (NEP) to fund the backfilling and perimeter fence for the proposed RGC.
Mr. Reynaldo Tupas of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) provided a short presentation on the status of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) applications in the region.
The IDC then tackled the Power Development Plans of MIMAROPA provinces as discussed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Director Michael Sinocruz. Except for Oriental Mindoro, all MIMAROPA provinces have already completed their respective Power Development Plans.
IDC Chairperson Velasco encouraged the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro to closely coordinate with DOE to complete the said plan. He also updated the body on Marinduque’s ongoing preparation of memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MARELCO) and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for the submarine cable that will connect the Marinduque province to Mulanay in Quezon and Mulanay to the Luzon Grid.
RD Mendoza, meanwhile, provided a short briefing on the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) and Luzon Spatial Development Framework (LSDF). He emphasized the importance of these strategic concepts to improve the region’s connectivity, concentration, and vulnerability reduction. In addition, he discussed the transportation network redundancy in the region highlighting the importance of alternative routes or means of transport between origins and destinations to lessen serious consequences in case of a disruption in the system.
Lastly, Governor Velasco added a brief discussion on the Marinduque-Quezon Link Expressway (MQLEX). In particular, he expressed his optimism regarding the realization of the Marinduque-Quezon Bridge which will maximize the economic potential of the province. RD Mendoza supplemented this discussion with a quick presentation of the visionary infrastructure linkages, particularly the proposed mega bridges for Mindoro and Marinduque, and their viability once connected to a high-standard highway system of the country.