Aquino vows to focus on dev't efforts in Mindnao-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III who graced Monday's conclusion of the two-day Philippine Development Forum (PDF) in Davao City vowed to prioritize development efforts in Mindanao and to maximize the island's untapped potentials.
In his speech, Aquino said that Mindanao's development has a significant impact on the country's growth.
"We Filipinos have always known it to be the Land of Promise, because of its great potential for growth and development. Unfortunately, for the longest time, this potential remained untapped, and its promise, unfulfilled; instead, some parts of Mindanao were known by many for violence, inequality, and corruption in local governance," he said at the closing ceremonies of the forum, initiated by the national government and development partners.
This reality, which was passed on from generation to generation, is the reason why his administration has given focus on Mindanao for further development.
Aquino said in order for the government to achieve inclusive growth, Mindanao must also be developed to its full potential and must not left behind.
"We know it is necessary to step up reform here if we are to foster inclusive growth. It began with the synchronization of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the national and local elections scheduled this year: a move that will allow our countrymen here to exercise their rights and cast their votes for the candidates they truly believe in," he added.
During the first day of the forum, the country director of the World Bank, Motoo Konishi, said in order for the government to achieve inclusive growth, it must prioritize job generation especially in Mindanao.
Generating employment is one of the biggest challenges that the Aquino Administration must address, Konishi said.
Citing a national data, Konishi said at present, there are approximately 10 million Filipinos who are either unemployed or underemployed across the county and roughly 1.1 million Filipinos are being added annually making the total required jobs at 14.6 million by 2016.
"This conference is about inclusive growth. And what I mean by inclusive growth is creating jobs. The lesson from other countries is that jobs drive inclusive growth. Job creation is even more urgent in Mindanao as jobs contribute also to social cohesion. The need for good jobs -- jobs that raise real wages or bring people out of poverty —is an overwhelming challenge," Konishi added.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 06, 2013.