The Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA) Davao is eyeing the construction of a five-hectare science and technology park at the Regional Government Center (RGC), an official said.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Assistant Secretary Anthony Sales, newly-installed president of ARENA 1, said the park will be part of the 94.7-hectare RGC site that will house at least 55 government agencies in Barangay Bago Oshiro, Tugbok District.
“There is actually a prior initiative spearheaded by the science community in Davao City to establish the Mindanao Science and Technology Park,” Sales said.
The park will promote the agenda that will develop the research and development (R&D) sector in the region.
“We acknowledge that we have R&D agencies, like the Bureau of Plant Industry, Department of Agriculture, and Philippine Coconut Authority, that will be located there,” Sales said.
“What we want is really bring together all these players in the research and development continuum, including innovation agencies, so that collaboration and cooperation among these research and development institutions is facilitated,” he added.
Sales also explained how the RGC will provide convenience and further development to the region.
“This RGC actually advances that objective – to bring together all the players in the RDI ecosystem. As we all know, research and development is essential to the overall development of the region. What we provide are inputs to development efforts in the region,” Sales explained.
“So bringing together all these players in one area, is really important for all of us and the overall development of Davao region,” he added.
ARENA 11, the group of regional government executive in Davao region, agreed the project on Thursday.
Funding requirements, Sales said, will be determined once all agencies submit proposals for land development and building construction.
“We will make the master plan for all the developments of the site,” he said, adding the relocation of the 200 informal settlers will also be considered.
Of the total land area, ARENA-11 said it would use 61.7 hectares for the national government and city government offices, 5 hectares for parks and recreation center, 18 hectares for other government sites and services, and 10 hectares for the relocation site of the affected families.
Initially, Sales said the Department of Public Works and Highways 11 has committed P24 million for site fencing. The Department of Agriculture 11 has also initially submitted a funding requirement of P70 million; P50 million from the Office of Civil Defense; P110 million from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); and P70 million from DOST.
The development of the site will start as soon as President Rodrigo Duterte signs the proclamation for the establishment of the government center, Sales said.
NEDA-11 Director Ma. Lourdes Lim said ARENA hopes the funding would “be approved by 2020.”
Sales said that one of the features of the government center is a fiber-optic communication system that would provide access to all locators and neighboring establishments around the government center.
He underscored the need for the establishment of the regional government center to improve various public services that serve domestic and international requirements.
He said the facility would result in administrative efficiency, government savings, and decongestion of the city center. (with PNA)