|Small Towns in Mindanao are Engines for Development|
The municipality of Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat partnered with the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) to build the Laguinding Barangay Bridge (in photo), and covered 25 percent of the total cost of the project. The bridge improves the farm-to-market delivery of agricultural commodities from the surrounding area, and helps control water flow during the rainy season. A recent study by Ateneo de Davao’s Institute for Socio-Economic Development Initiatives reports that barangay bridges such as those that are funded under USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program, bring in an average return of about two pesos for every peso invested in them. The bridge is one of more than 1,400 community infrastructure projects implemented by USAID under its Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program, under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Published in Business World, May 18-19, 2012