Road project spurs economic dev’t in central Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:34

By ED GENERAL

Barely months ago after Mayor Datu Rauf Mastura of Sultan Mastura municipality and ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman signed a Memorandum of Agreement aimed to putting their socio-economic platform forward for the benefit of their constituents both in the municipality and the region as a whole, the Macabiso-Solon Road Project linking the two barangays is already showing signs of a positive impact to  the municipality. In fact, the ARMM-financed project is a genuine success story, paving the way for local integration and greater social cohesion.

DPWH-ARMM Sec Don Mustapha Loong said the project has a considerable socio-economic dimension, and is environmentally sustainable paving way to potential tourist destinations. Its total cost at appraisal is P60 million for a six-kilometer road.

The Macabiso-Solon Road is part of the arterial road leading its exit to Simuay highway passing through beautiful shoreline and an access road to North Cotabato and neighboring provinces.

The road project has been transformational in terms of the direct benefits felt by the population within the project area, including a boost to household income levels. Concretely, the project has contributed to job creation and private sector expansion by facilitating the marketing of agricultural produce in the zone with improved access via the highway and rural feeder roads.

Video testimonies taken from the area where the beneficiaries confirm the road project has improved social and rural infrastructure, including access to schools, markets, drying beds for agricultural produce, cassava, corn and rice including fisheries products.

Years ago, the road was a nightmare to the population in the area. The Macabiso-Solon Road was described by locals as “the worst road in the municipality”.

During the rainy season, trucks were stranded in the mud and women were refused rides because they were not seen to be strong enough to push the vehicles should they become stuck.

With the road improvements, transport costs and poverty levels along this economic corridor have already been reduced dramatically. The project has a tremendous potential for economic transformation by improving the efficiency of the transport and living conditions of the population within its zone of influence.

It is common knowledge that Maguindanao is the largest trading partner of North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur and Davao even with the prevalence of bad roads linking these areas.