Government to focus on Mindanao's potential-A A +A
Sunday, February 3, 2013
THE Aquino administration vowed to prioritize development of Mindanao, citing its great potential.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the region is poised to make great strides in view of the signing of the Bangsamoro peace framework and the region’s overall growth.
"The Bangsamoro peace agreement has also encouraged greater confidence in the region, particularly in areas where armed conflict once undermined efforts at community development or commercial progress,” he said.
Abad made the statement ahead of the 2013 Philippine Development Forum (PDF) in Davao City, where the country’s global development partners will join government leaders, civil society groups, and other stakeholders in discussing urgent development goals and issues unique to the Philippines.
He noted that this year’s PDF will be crucial in bridging the Aquino administration’s socio-economic agenda with the objectives of its development partners.
"We’re looking forward to nurturing a more focused and coordinated relationship with them, so we can seamlessly confront our most pressing development challenges in the country while facilitating growth and reform,” Abad said.
Through this forum, the administration and its development partners are expected to fine-tune the development agenda for the country and strategize the allocation of resources and knowledge, with the goal of streamlining programs and projects that will be conducive to growth in the Philippines.
“It’s no coincidence that the 2013 PDF is being held in Davao, considering the administration’s aim of enhancing Mindanao’s growth capacity and invigorating the region’s agri-fishery and tourism industries, as well as other fast-growing sectors,” Abad said.
Aside from President Benigno Aquino III, also invited to grace the event is MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.
“We take this opportunity to extend its gratitude and commendation to the Government of the Philippines (GPH) particularly the Department of Finance for the kind invitation extended the MILF,” said Muhammad Ameen, chief secretariat of the MILF Central Committee.
He cited the initiatives of the government in factoring significantly the FAB signed last October 2012 in the PDF.
“We sincerely hope that both the government and MILF, as peace and development partners, can faithfully deliver on the promises of the Framework Agreement taking into consideration the general welfare of the Bangsamoro people as the primary goal,” he said.
Ameen said the MILF and the government must be seen and appreciated as honest to goodness partners in the realization of the fruitions and gains of the FAB with the assistance of the Malaysian third party facilitator as indispensable.
“The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro opens investments and opportunities for the Bangsamoro to live in peace and progress. But we cannot do this alone,” said Ameen.
Abad said the government should ensure that the gains of the administration will be felt by all Filipinos.
"Together with our development partners, we can work toward creating more growth dividends for Mindanao, thus empowering the region and giving it ample room for socio-economic progress,” he said. (Jill Beltran/SDR/Sunnex)