Bohol Gov Flies to South Korea

Governor Erico Aumentado will leave for South Korea Tuesday to attend groundbreaking ceremonies for the pilot algae bio-ethanol processing plant in Goheung County , and to meet with senior economic ministers in Seoul to discuss the mega projects for Bohol proposed for Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.

From Goheung, the Aumentado team will proceed to Seoul to meet with Man-Soo Kang, senior economic adviser to President Lee Myung Bak and chair of the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness as well as former Ambassador to the Philippines and adopted son of Bohol Minister Choi Joong-Kyung, now presidential senior secretary on economic affairs.

Top in the agenda for the meeting arranged by Man Hwan Park, Philippine country representative of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Korea Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) are the Bohol Circumferential Road Improvement Project Phase 3 (BCRIP 3), implementation of the multi-industry cluster (MIC) projects, the US$3-million grant for the feasibility study on the Bohol-Cebu Multi Access Friendship Bridge (Super Bridge) and the proposed US$3 million ODA concessional compact loan for the development of the 1.8-kilometer runway of the Ubay domestic airport.

The MIC projects include the establishment of a US$2.9-million algae bio-ethanol research center and P7.5-billion algae bio-ethanol extraction facility both at the proposed Talibon Industrial Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in barangays Tanghaligue, Bagacay and Burgos - with expansion areas in barangays Tulang and San Jose in the adjacent town of Getafe, the upgrading of the Malinao Dam, the rice processing complex in Pilar town, dairy industry development and the Ubay seaport.

Aumentado said one requisite for the release of ODA for BCRIP 3 is the conversion of the Anda Peninsula Highway from a provincial to national road. He and Congressman-elect Arthur Yap of the 3rd District will co-author the conversion bill - and file it within the first session week of the House. Aware that the Korean ODA funds could be reverted unless used within this fiscal year, he vowed to fast track the bill's approval to meet his self-imposed timetable. - Bohol Chronicle