Barmm sparks growth
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) is playing a vital role in driving the economic growth of Mindanao, according to Romero M. Montenegro, deputy executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Speaking at the Habi at Kape media forum at Ayala Malls Abreeza on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, Montenegro emphasized that Barmm's recent accelerated growth is positively impacting the overall progress of Mindanao, a stark contrast to its historical role as a hindrance to development.
“When we see Barmm improving, we are now seeing Barmm pulling us up. Twenty years ago, Barmm has always been pulling us down in terms of our march to progress. This time around it's a transformation of the situation with Barmm,” Montenegro said.
He emphasized that the region has played a key role in surpassing growth targets for Mindanao.
Over the past five years, Barmm has consistently ranked in the top three or five fastest-growing regions in the Philippines, especially in the agricultural sector.
Montenegro attributed this success to Barmm's unique approach of compensating farmers at twice the rate of their counterparts in other regions.
While Barmm's initial investment target for 2023 was set at around 2.5 billion, the region has exceeded expectations by reaching 3.1 billion as of August 2023.
He expressed MinDA's commitment to sustaining Mindanao's accelerated growth in 2022, citing a Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of 7.2 percent—indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels.
“There is now a transformation that we are seeing with the entry of several investments with the improvement of several infrastructures, facilities, and the continuing focus of the national government and the private sector to invest in Mindanao,” he added. RGP