Remembering PADAP in Pagadian by Frencie Carreon

Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

I attended the 2012 Philippines Update Conference in Canberra, Australia, hosted by Australian National University and met Peter Hodge, one of those visiting representatives then of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), overseeing the Philippine-Australian Development Assistance Project (PADAP) in Pagadian City, the regional center of government.

I shared with Peter how the PADAP roads have made a remarkable difference in the development and transformation of Pagadian City, especially with its being the regional center now. As I visualized the PADAP complex and the roads, most of which provided access economically and otherwise to residents across the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

One asphalt road leads to Margosatubig town, one of the province’s significant commercial ports, and this was built sometime in 1976 through the PADAP-Zamboanga del Sur Development Project.

Two years earlier, PADAP had also supported again through the ZDSDP an integrated rural development program which further empowered the Multiple Cropping Project, an agricultural program that allowed credit scheme for smallholder upland cooperative production in Mindanao.   This agricultural program designed to enhance crop production technology for rainfed areas of Zamboanga del Sur, was also AusAID-assisted then along with the Philippine National Bank.

I remember fully well among my seniors in media, Miguel ‘Mike’ Apostol, as among its former administrators of the PADAP Project, then during the term of Governor Isidro Real.

Today’s PADAP complex is now the seat of the regional center and overlooks the Illana Bay.  It is a representation of a long-time cooperation and friendship between the Philippines and Australia.

PADAP has likewise ushered in the sisterhood between Pagadian City and Cooma City in New South Wales, here in Australia.  A Resolution was passed by the Municipal Council of Cooma then on 14 April 1975, and Resolution No. 41 by the City Board of Pagadian on 21 July 1975.  During the program’s lifetime, Australians comprising the technical men and crew, as well as PADAP and AusAID officials (among them Peter Hodge) lived in Pagadian City.  Some of them were part of the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation then based in Cooma, which were sub-contracted by AusAID for the project.

Peter was most happy to know that the project is serving a lot of the citizens and is actually contributing much to the transformation of Pagadian City to a better-developed city than before when he last stayed there.

After all, PADAP as a model to Australia’s commitment to Mindanao development, after three decades, should be lauded as contributory to what Pagadian City and some parts of the province of Zamboanga del Sur is now.  (Frencie Carreon, The PhilSouth Angle)

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