AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS ROADS IMPROVEMENT IN BOHOL
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith, Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero, and Bohol Provincial Governor Erico Aumentado recently signed an agreement to help improve road infrastructure in the province.
The Provincial Road Management Facility is a five-year, Php3.8 billion Australian Government funded program that will assist the Philippine Government manage and maintain more than 1000km of provincial roads in up to 10 provinces in Mindanao and the Visayas.
Australian Ambassador Rod Smith, Bohol Provincial Governor Erico Aumentado, and Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero (2nd-4th from left) sign an agreement for the Australian Government-funded Provincial Road Management Facility that will help improve road infrastructure in the province. Joining them were Bohol Vice Governor Caesar Herrera (far left) and Congressman Edgar Chatto (far right).
Bohol is one of the initial seven provinces to benefit from the program. Under the agreement, the Australian Government, through its international development agency AusAID, will provide about Php 35 million in the program’s first year of implementation to rehabilitate and maintain more than 25km of roads in the province.
Additional funding of up to Php 35 million will also be made available as an incentive program if the provincial government achieve agreed governance reforms. These additional funds may be used for road-related infrastructure works and other provincial government development priorities allowing them to further improve service delivery.
“Infrastructure investment drives development. That is why Australia is working with the Philippine Government, at both the national and local levels, to increase investment in transport infrastructure. Improving road transport will boost the local economy of Bohol,” Ambassador Smith said.
In Bohol, road works for the first year will prioritise road segments that link key economic and social service areas - tourist areas, farms, schools and health centres – to people and markets.
“People will have better access to rehabilitated and maintained road networks, economic activity, public infrastructure and services that will improve their livelihoods. Better roads will also improve access to jobs, health services and essential social and educational facilities in rural and regional areas,” Ambassador Smith said.
“The signing of this agreement is an important step in establishing the fundamentals for the success of the Provincial Road Management Facility: strong relationships between provincial government, the Government of Australia, the Philippine Department of Interior and Local Government and local civil society groups.”
Australia is a long-standing development partner of the Philippines and one of the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donors.