Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said the next administration should invest in infrastructure to address the power and internet crisis in some parts of Mindanao.
“Dalawa ang pinakaimportante na bigyan ng pansin ng gobyerno pagdating sa infrastructure, y’ung kuryente, at tsaka y’ung internet signal,” Cayetano said in a media interview on February 17, 2022.
“Walang bansa sa buong mundo ang umunlad kung ang internet saka ang kuryente ay hindi present,” he added.
(The two most important things that the government should prioritize with regards to infrastructure are electricity and improving the internal signal. No country in the world was able to progress in the absence of the internet, as well as electricity.)
For years, power outages and electricity rationing have been the norm in Mindanao. While the situation has improved over the past few years, some parts of the island continue to suffer from regular power shortages aggravated by droughts and weak energy infrastructure.
Lack of stable internet access has also been a growing concern in far-flung areas in the Southern Philippines due to inadequate digital infrastructure on the island.
“Hindi dapat mangyari na may lugar sa Pilipinas na walang kuryente o tubig o walang serbisyo ng internet. So, isa po talaga ‘yan sa talagang imomonitor o itutulak natin,” Cayetano said.
(There should be no place in the Philippines where there is no electricity, water, or internet services. That’s something that we have to monitor and push hard against.)
Cayetano said given its vast resources and the presence of new technologies, the national government should prioritize rural development.
“Napakayaman ng ating bansa pero hindi nahahati-hati nang mabuti ang pondo at responsibilidad sa ating bansa,” he said.
(Our country is rich in resources but our budget and our responsibility to the country are not properly distributed.)
To encourage development in far-flung areas, the former Speaker said Duterte’s Build Build,, Build program should be continued by the next administration with some modifications.
“Ituloy ang Build Build Build pero yung pagpaplano at pag-implement, dapat nasa regional at provincial level na yan,” he said.
(Continue the Build, Build, Build program, but planning and implementation should be conducted at the regional and provincial levels.)