MinDA holds 1st Mindanao Development Forum

By
February 02 2013

MinDA chairperson Sec. Luwalhati Antonino, in her opening message, expressed gratitude to the delegates and described the event as a gathering under a shared goal and commitment to a greener, progressive and peaceful Mindanao.

By ALEX D. LOPEZ
Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) convened the 1stMindanao Development Forum (MDF) on Friday at the Marco Polo Hotel here, an event described by leaders as significant to push the development of Mindanao forward.

MinDA chairperson Sec. Luwalhati Antonino, in her opening message, expressed gratitude to the delegates and described the event as a gathering under a shared goal and commitment to a greener, progressive and peaceful Mindanao.

The MinDA chief said MDF’s main objective is to create an inclusive platform to enhance policy dialogue and public discourse on Mindanao’s development priorities and imperatives.

She further explained that the holding of the first MDF close to the scheduled Philippine Development Forum to be held also here in Davao is intended with the hopes of being able to meet the objective of presenting the substantial Mindanao perspective in national development.

She also urged the participants to share their strategic inputs, consensus and commitments for Mindanao’s accelerated, sustained and inclusive development.

“It is our shared aspiration that these policies, plans and commitments will be translated into doable actions in the country’s over-all agenda, in line with President Aquino’s social contract with the Filipino people,” Antonino said.

She also cited the recently signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) and called it a breakthrough in the Mindanao peace process and “an opportunity to transform areas that have gone through years of armed conflicts but today emerge as testaments that amidst diversities, peace is possible.”

In its report to the delegates, MinDA said Mindanao fared well over the last two years citing improved investment climate, macro-economic performance and peace condition.

The above-mentioned achievements, MinDA said, was made possible through the implementation of budget and fiscal reforms, infrastructure and good governance.

In fact, the report added, 35 percent of the total awardees of the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi are local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao.

Gawad Pamana ng Lahi is an award granted to LGUs with exemplary performance in local governance.

Furthermore, data from the Board of Investments revealed that the approved investments in Mindanao surged up to 663 percent in 2011, from PHP 11.98 Billion in 2010 to PHP 91.43 Billion in 2011, where 99 percent of the equity is locally given.

In terms of labor situation, MinDA added that 94.88 percent of Mindanao’s labor force is employed.

Figures presented by MinDA said of 20 people aged 15 to 64 in Mindanao, 19 of them are employed but of the 19, five of them are underemployed.

Meanwhile, in a separate press conference after the opening ceremonies of the MDF, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chief Sec. Arsenio Balisacan said Mindanao’s potential can be accelerated if constraints to achieve development are properly dealt with.

Balisacan said among the strong potential of Mindanao is its agriculture industry which has been performing well for the past years.

When constraints to growth such as peace and order are addressed, the NEDA Chief said, Mindanao will grow faster and achieve its full potential.  (Alex D. Lopez, davaotoday.com)

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