A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Ministries of Economic Development and Infrastructure Development. The idea is to collaborate to upgrade and make agricultural roads in the communities of Trio, Valley of Peace and San Carlos. Chief Executive Officer Victor Espat discussed how this partnership will respond to the road infrastructure challenges in those areas.
Victor Espat, CEO, M.I.D.H.: “One of the components of the RRB project is to look at some of the agriculture and rural roads and the rehabilitation and in some instances construction of these farm access roads. The M.I.D.H. has committed to partnering with Economic Development to ensure that these roads are of the highest standard and the highest quality. In order to move the project forward. This has been a project, I believe has been in stagnation for quite a while and so we’re behind time and the clock is ticking and one of the commitments that has come from our ministry is the design component of three of these roads. One is the Valley of Peace Road, the Tryo Road and the San Carlos Roads. So the Ministry of Infrastructure Development has taken responsibility for the design of these three roads. I’m happy to say that these designs will be done in- house by a team of our engineers and that really affords us the opportunity to highlight the ability of our engineers. A lot of times these engineers are sidelined and these designs are contracted out to foreign firms and other private entities but at the Ministry we’ve been focussing on capacity building and so our engineers will be the ones designing these roads and that will result in significant savings. The M.I.D.H. will also contribute these designs so the project won’t have to pay for the designs.”
CEO Doctor Osmond Martinez also added that with the cross-ministry effort, the government can save money to put back into those areas. Here’s how he explained it.
Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO, Ministry of Economic Development: “We do not have the experts in house but MIDH do have the engineers. They have the know-how and so it is important for us to work along with one another and this is a good example of inter ministerial cooperation where we will work with whoever has the strength and we need it then we should be able to work along with them. By having he in-house expertise, we will be able to save several hundreds of thousands of dollars that can be passed on to, we can pass on these funds to the beneficiaries which are the populations that are living below the poverty line in the rural areas and who are interested to work within the productive sector. N addition to that, it will helps us to fast track the program because now IFAD, who is the implementing partner of this project, has actually given us the no objection for the signing of the memorandum of agreement so that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing can help us o move he project along a little bit faster.”
There are plans to do the same kind of work in other parts of the country.