Gov’t, NOCCI starts selection for shortlist for road, infra prioritization

By Roi Lomotan

NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Representatives from the government and Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) began the selection for the shortlist of proposed Strategic Roads and Infrastructure Investment (SRII) projects.

The projects will be endorsed by the Provincial Development Council (PDC) for funding from national government agencies (NGAs).

Both parties met with consultants from The Asia Foundation (TAF) at a Coordinating Road and Infrastructure Investments for Development (CR + ID) prioritization workshop recently wherein they discussed which among the proposed SRII shall prioritized for funding starting 2017 up to 2019.

The group have adopted a prioritization scheme where projects will be grouped according to congressional district and then it will be categorized under five sectors of economic growth namely tourism, coconut, high value crops, fisheries and livestock and poultry.

Each project will then be ranked according to priority for funding based on the criteria set by the group which is composed by productivity (45%), access and connectivity (30%) and sensitivity to disaster risk and gender and development (25%).

The group agreed that there will be 15 roads and infrastructure projects included in the shortlist for each districts of Negros Oriental.

Most of these are road networks, farm to market roads, roads to potential tourism sites, establishment of tourist information centers, trading posts, solar driers and jetty ports.

These proposed SRIIs were evaluated and scored using the abovementioned criteria. Those with the highest total score shall be considered the first priority for funding.

However, TAF consultant Carmencita Cochingco suggested to the group that there should a person who will inspect the sites of these projects to verify if the location are not prone to disasters, thus, the ratings given to these proposed SRII projects can still change.

The output of the workshop shall be presented by NOCCI president Edward Du to members of PDC when the group convenes hopefully by November.

Once the projects get an approval from the PDC, it will go up to the Regional Development Council (RDC) who in then will lobby for its funding from NGAs in time for the budget cycle for 2017.

He noted that this time, it will be the members of RDC of the Negros Island Region who will convene so there are high chances that the shortlist of SRIIs will be tackled at the RDC meeting which is expected to commence by January next year.

“This might be the first agenda at the RDC,” Du said.

Attendees of the workshop is composed of representatives from the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) and the local offices of Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Provincial Engineer’s Office  and some members of NOCCI. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA Website on Sept. 16, 2015)

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