Cotabato City lines up big-ticket infra projects for implementation next year | Manuel Cayon
DAVAO CITY—Cotabato City is expected to embark on its biggest infrastructure construction binge yet next year with an airport and a seaport on top of the list of projects lined up for implementation.
This developed as the Duterte administration
has been revisiting, or revising, its list of projects funded under its “Build,
Build, Build” (BBB) program.
It could not immediately ascertained if the
construction of the two port facilities are in the unrevised list of BBB
projects list but the city mayor’s office said the two big-ticket projects will
be build through a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The city mayor’s office has described these
“megaconstruction” projects as getting Cotabato City “one step closer to being
one of Mindanao’s top transportation hubs.” Both ports are of international
standard and would be the two largest infrastructure projects in the city’s
Also set to begin construction next year is
the China-Cotabato Friendship Technical School to help train the manpower pool
requirement of the projects, as well as for future labor needs of the city,
according to Cotabato City Mayor Frances Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.
“All of these three projects will be
undertaken by the China Engineering and Construction [Shenzhen] Co. Inc. and
the city government of Cotabato through a public-private partnership scheme,”
the mayor said.
She said groundbreaking of the international
airport would be held before the end of the year after more than a year of
negotiations and study.
Sayadi said the three projects “are the
results of steadfast relations between the people of Cotabato City and China”
and described the three projects “not merely a business partnership but a
brotherhood rooted deeply through the years.”
“Many Cotabatenios, including myself, have
Chinese blood in them and that’s what connected us with our friends from this
construction company. These projects will surely bring more progress and change
our lives,” she added.
The three projects needed approximately 15,000
workers, from carpenters and masons to laborers and other construction-related
The city mayor’s office said representatives
of the China Engineering and Construction (Shenzhen) Co., headed by Mr. Yi Bin
Liu and Ms. Tingting Yang, arrived in Cotabato City on November 10 to oversee
the initial phase of the construction of each project.
The company earlier sent its engineers and
architects to Cotabato City to present the blueprints for the three projects to
the city officials, including the city engineers and architects.
They also conducted various surveys of the
The airport would be located at Tamontaka 3, 4
and 5 while the seaport would be built in Barangay Kalangalan at the foot of
Timaco Hill. Site of the technical school is at Tamontaka Mother.
Cotabato City used in development compared
with other cities in Mindanao, mainly because of the periodic armed conflict in
central Mindanao mounted by the two major Moro revolutionary
fronts. Economic activities are commonly confined to agricultural trading,
with the city strategically as a trading center for the Cotabato areas that
have been dubbed as the country’s rice bowl.
The city relies on the Awang airport located
in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao, and on the Polloc Port located in
Parang town, Maguindanao, for air and sea transport.
The airport is classified as a major domestic
airport and was listed as the 23rd busiest airport in the Philippines. It
served 298,345 passengers last year. It has a runway length of 1,900 meters, or
almost 2 kilometers.