Rodriguez said the TWG was created to further study all possible ways by which the budget allocations for Mindanao could be raised.
Rodriguez noted that the region has been getting only a small percentage of the budgets of government agencies and departments.
During the meeting presided by committee vice chairman Rep. Peter Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental), officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) presented the Tourism Road Infrastructure Program (TRIP), a convergence program of the DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) involving the rehabilitation or construction of roads leading to tourist destinations that will encourage more tourists to visit these areas.
DOT Assistant Secretary Maria Lourdes Japson expressed full support for the move to raise the 2019 budget for Mindanao to improve the socio-economic conditions in the region.
Japson said any increase in the budget of the DOT regional offices in Mindanao would allow them to implement meaningful capability-building projects.
She said the DOT regional directors in the area started discussing and identifying additional plans and programs for possible implementation of the projects. The TRIP, which has 677 projects nationwide, is expected to be fully accomplished by the year 2022, said Japson.
Aside from the DOT, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) also presented their 2019 budget proposals and plans and programs for Mindanao.
The TWG has been conducting a series of meetings to discuss with government agencies their proposed budgets for 2019 as well as plans and programs for Mindanao.