The “relative peace” achieved by the 2019 passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has made infrastructure development possible in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM), said public works minister Eduard Guerra in an interview.
“Within Mindanao, we have progressed further because of the past few years. There was unrest before so infrastructure projects were harder to implement. But now, there’s no reason why we can’t implement these projects; there is relative peace,” Guerra, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) chief, explained.
Guerra, with the guidance of BARMM Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim Al-Hajj, ensured that every municipality was covered by the infrastructure development funds. “This is the basic policy of the Chief Minister; that no municipality is left behind,” expressed Guerra in Filipino.
He further stated that avoiding over-disbursement is the MPW’s top priority in the procurement process. Guerra stressed that all involved contractors were duly informed of the ministry’s “no validation, no payment” policy.
Road construction and development will take the majority of the BARMM infrastructure projects. According to studies conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the region lags behind others in national statistics on road quantity and quality. The MPW hopes to address that problem with the aforementioned development plans.
The BARMM has begun the procurement process for the region’s 2021 infrastructure projects. Each of the region’s 116 municipalities will receive an average of Php 100 million for infrastructure development projects.