gensan night aerial
 
The skyline of General Santos becomes a huge display of neon lights at night as the southernmost city in the Philippines transforms into a highly urbanized area, becoming one of the regional centers and gateways of commerce and industry in Mindanao. An important road section of the General Santos City Circumferential Road (GSCCR) was recently completed, allowing for the reliable and fast transport of goods within the Soccsksargen and enhancing trade among its neighboring provinces. (Photo by Ronald Velasquez)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – An important road section of the General Santos City Circumferential Road (GSCCR) was recently completed, allowing for the reliable and fast transport of goods within the South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos (Soccsksargen) Region.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-XII announced that the Northern segment of the GSCCR was opened, boosting the competitiveness of Soccsksargen and strengthening connectivity within the island-region of Mindanao.

Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) lauds the opening of the major artery saying "it will interconnect Mindanao, allowing for the smooth flow of trade within the island-region."

She added the road's completion will also provide commuters and traders easy access to the region's sea, land and air terminals, thereby facilitating economic development among the region's agri-based businesses and industries.

Antonino said the road's opening supports to achieving the goals of the Mindanao Development Corridors, a spatial development strategy that aims to accelerate socioeconomic development of Mindanao by enhancing transport and logistics infrastructure.

During his first Sate of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that "infrastructure spending will be accelerated by improving national roads and bridges and by implementing the Mindanao logistics infrastructure network."

The President added "the government will pursue rail projects in Manila and the major key points in the country including the Mindanao Rail Project."

In the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan, considered as the island-region's socioeconomic roadmap for 2011 to 2030, the completion of national roads is a major impetus to accelerate trade and commerce within the region.

DPWH Region XII Director Reynaldo Tamayo said the GSCCR is a significant structure in integrating the points of entry in the region that would boost its economic development.

Tamayo added the integration of the Northern Segment of the GSCCR to the national road network of the DPWH will imply additional budget allocation for future maintenance activities such as asphalting and further improvements to the road like widening and construction of additional lanes, upgrading of road shoulders, and installation of drainage systems and guardrails.

The GSCCR is a major linkage to Soccsksargen's gateways, seen to also enhance the trade and commerce industry in the neighboring Central and Southern Mindanao provinces.

The whole stretch of the circumferential road has a total length of 19,633 meters composed of its northern sections from Junction Digos-Makar Road in Katangawan-Upper Silway Section, Upper Silway-Lower Apopong Section and the Lower Apopong Section interconnected by the Silway and Apopong Bridges of GenSan.

The completed 876 meter remaining length of the Upper Silway Bridge will serve as continuous link of the GSCCR Western Segment traversed through junction Marbel-Tupi-Makar national road to Junction Filipino-American Friendship Avenue.

Region XII, also known as Soccsksargen, is composed of the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat and the five cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, Cotabato and General Santos. The region is a major producer of staple agricultural products and export-bound agri-based merchandise.

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