THE Bangsamoro plebiscite opens positive opportunities for economic growth, a government official said.

“The successful plebiscite and eventually the implementation later of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) paved a way for a game-changer and could create growth traction in Mindanao,” Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro said.

The plebiscite conducted Monday, January 21, in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) sought to determine if voters in the region favor the creation of a more powerful Bangsamoro region.

Montenegro said the success of the plebiscite will pave for more investments in the Muslim region.

“For the past six years, the Bangsamoro region has already attracted P20 billion worth of investments in agriculture, technology, and governance,” Montenegro said.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) records show that the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of ARMM accelerated to 7.3 percent between 2016 and 2017. The regional economy contracted by negative 0.4 percent in 2015 and rebounded with a growth rate of 0.4 percent in 2016.

“ARMM’s economy was estimated at P54.5 billion in 2017 which is higher than the previous year with only P50.8 billion. Philippine’s economy was estimated at P8.6 trillion in 2017 and P8.2 trillion in 2016,” PSA reports revealed.

Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing (AHFF) continued to contribute the largest share to the region’s economy at 56.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the deputy executive director underscored the importance of recognizing the role of Bangsamoro in the total development of Mindanao.

“Bangsamoro makes Mindanao as a whole because for several decades every major setback that has happened in the Bangsamoro area is a setback for the entire Mindanao as well. That’s why we cannot isolate the situation of the Bangsamoro in the overall growth direction of Mindanao because Bangsamoro is an integral component of Mindanao’s overall march to progress,” Montenegro said emphasizing the importance of the Bangsamoro in Mindanao.