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Sec. Magno hopes to continue good relations with Davao City government

MINDANAO Development Authority (MinDA) Chairman Leo Tesoro Magno hoped that his relationship with the city government remained untarnished during his term.

Magno made the pronouncement when asked about his reaction to the passage of a resolution of the 20th city council on May 28 backing Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s statement on the “unjustifiable” termination of Ma. Belen Acosta as MinDA head.

“It is within their right to do that. They supported Sec. Mabel, I really don’t have a problem with that. It’s up to me now to react positively, if I’m going to work harder, maybe they will support me in the future,” Magno told reporters during Habi at Kape sidelines.

When asked if there would be changes in the relationship with the city government, Magno said “I hope not.” 

He added he does not see the resolution as against him but as a move to support Acosta, which is prerogative to the city council of which Acosta once was a member.

On the movement of MinDA personnel, he said no employees would be dismissed following his assumption of the office, except the co-terminus.

Hindi nako pumunta sa Minda para mananggal ng tao, maghanap ng mali. If he/ she is still wiilling to work for development of Mindanao, wala akong karapatan at wala sa puso ko ang magtanggal nga mga tao na nakakatulong naman sa ahensya,” he said.

Magno sees “nothing wrong” with Acosta allegedly hiring several family members and relatives to certain positions in MinDA during her term as they worked co-terminus in nature, and will be “automatically” removed from their positions.

To recall, then-President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed Acosta on Jan. 13, 2022, while Magno was appointed by the successor President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on May 13 and took his oath on May 21.

Magno reported the Mindanao Railway Project (MRP) is still a go despite setbacks in funding after China backed out. He added there is a change in perspective on the railway’s power source- from diesel to electric and the possibility of making it a dual-track system from the original single-track. 

The P81.7 billion MRP Phase 1 covers 100 kilometers and includes eight railway stations linking Tagum City, Davao City, Sta. Cruz, and Digos City, cutting the travel time from 3.5 hours to 1.3 hours.

MinDA continues monitoring the Bucana Bridge project, one of the big-ticket projects in the city, and an integral part of the Davao City Coastal Bypass Road, which is now at 20% completion and is on track for completion by the end of 2025. 

Meanwhile, the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH) in the city is still a go, the city government is working on land ownership and management from the National Housing Authority to the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

DHSUD is eyeing to build an initial 7,000 housing units in Lasang. Other areas identified include Talomo and Langub in Ma-a District. Magno said the city government will identify the beneficiaries of 4PH.

Magno said that paperwork is still underway for the Waste to Energy (WTE) project in the city, per the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Photo: Bing Gonzales



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