Some 200 stakeholders who gathered yesterday at Phivedec Industrial Estate, the province economic zone, pushed for the establishment of the North to South Mindanao link to enable greater mobility of goods and people in this southern Philippines island of Mindanao.

Participants to the two-day conference include international players like foreign shipping industries also attended the two-day confab with delegations from the shippers, shipping lines, cargo forwarders, service providers, and representatives from private sector and government agencies.

“The main focus of this conference is the logistics infrastructure. Linkages of Northern to Southern Mindanao, a main corridor like a Davao-Cagayan expressway,” Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), said.
Rodriguez who welcomed hundred participants said several infrastructures were expected to be built in key places in Mindanao to fast track its economic development.

Rodriguez said, like the ongoing infra-projects he started in Cagayan de Oro early this year it would be of big help if the plan fully materialized.

“The ongoing projects like the Laguindingan Airport, the planning of the Mindanao Railway System which will connect the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro is the start idea of a logistics corridor,” said Rodriguez.

In Cagayan de Oro, he said the approval of an overpass to be built in Barangay Puerto worth P230- million will help the land cargoes from Bukidnon to Cagayan de Oro.

“That overpass will help cargoes from Bukidnon as it will be connecting to the new planned coastal super highway from Puerto to Macabalan port,” said Rodriguez.

The Mindanao Federation of Shippers’ Association (MINFESA) Inc. who spearheaded the conference made some proposal as it will presented during the said conference with the theme: “Southern-Northern Mindanao Logistics Corridor: Key to Fast Track its Economic Development.”

MINFESA President Vic Lagdamen said the “expressway” would not necessarily be the one passing through the current national highway, as long as it will “facilitate for a faster movement of goods and people.”

He also said while the Northern-Mindanao link is being pushed as a main corridor, the proposed integrated logistics and transportation plan should also include the Zamboanga, Caraga and other regions in Mindanao.
Mindanao is yet to have an integrated logistics and transportation plan, he said.

He said the plan should figure significantly with the recent infrastructure boost in Mindanao, wherein major infrastructure were recently built like the Mindanao Container Terminal, along with the expansion of seaports and airports, and improvement of national roads.

Business Growth Development program manager Renne P. Subido said that the integrated logistic highway or corridor that would connect two big economic centers in the region the Northern and Southern part of Mindanao is planned by Minfesa in cooperation with some groups like Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM).

“The GEM will give some technical assistance and part of the conference’ resolution and one of the co-funding groups,” said Subido.

By BEN BALCE of Gold Star Daily

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