The MIMAROPA Regional Project Monitoring Team (RPMT) conducted field monitoring visits to several infrastructure projects in the province of Occidental Mindoro on November 22-26.

The monitoring team was led by the NEDA Regional Office in  MIMAROPA together with the RPMC private sector representatives, Provincial Project Monitoring Committee of Occidental Mindoro, and a representative from 203rd Brigade Philippine Army as observer. The team monitored infrastructure projects being implemented by the Philippine Ports Authority-Port Management Office (PPA-PMO) Mindoro, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Area Center 3, Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC), local government unit (LGU) of Occidental Mindoro, National Irrigation Administration (NIA), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The RPMT first visited the completed passenger terminal building of Santa Teresa Port in Magsaysay. According to the LGU of Magsaysay, they would like to have a regular schedule of sea travel between Santa Teresa Port and Caticlan in Aklan and Caluya in Antique once the PPA formally turns over the management of the port to LGU of Magsaysay. With its strategic location, the Santa Teresa Port can serve as one of the potential drivers for the economic development of Magsaysay, which would promote the movement of people and goods such as aggregates and agricultural products of the province.

The team also visited the ongoing repair and repainting of Fire Station Building at San Jose Airport, construction of Quadrangle in OMSC, and the completed Provincial Road Project in Calintaan. The team advised the contractors and the implementing agencies to properly observe the construction safety standards, use of complete set of personal protective equipment of the workers, and ensure that the project billboards are properly installed and displayed in the project site.

Afterward, the RPMT visited the Victoria-Sablayan Cross Island Road, a multi-year project being implemented by the DPWH MIMAROPA. The said project is suspended due to the increase of embankment and revision of the design from pipe culvert to box culvert. Once completed, the 50-kilometer Victoria-Sablayan Cross Island Road project will significantly shorten the travel time between Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro. The project is intended mainly to provide efficient transportation and distribution system of economic resources and basic social services for both provinces. The  cross-island road will also pave the way for other possible economic activities along its route.

The  team also visited the ongoing Kabangkalan Small Irrigation Project of NIA MIMAROPA, wherein  works consist of diversion, canal lining, and canal structure. During the project briefing, the Irrigators’ Association highlighted the vital role of the irrigation project in increasing agricultural land productivity by providing sufficient water to their crops.

Lastly, the RPMT visited the ongoing Puerto Galera–Abra de Ilog Circumferential Road, also a multi-year project of the DPWH MIMAROPA, with some portions already completed and the remaining sections still subject for funding. After its full completion, the project could conveniently connect the two prime tourist destinations of Mindoro Island—the Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. Moreover, the circumferential road will bring about the emergence of new tourism activities and other economic opportunities for both provinces.

The field monitoring visits in Occidental Mindoro concluded with an exit conference attended by the RPMT members and representatives from the LGUs wherein they discussed findings and observations during the visits and provided recommendations to facilitate project completion.