Joji Bian, UM’s Torres named MinDA board members

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. appointed Purita Arsenia "Joji Ilagan" Bian (left) and Dr. Guillermo “Willy” Torres Jr. (right) as the new members of the Mindanao Development Authority's (MinDA) board of directors on June 24, 2024.
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. appointed Purita Arsenia "Joji Ilagan" Bian (left) and Dr. Guillermo “Willy” Torres Jr. (right) as the new members of the Mindanao Development Authority's (MinDA) board of directors on June 24, 2024.Joji Ilagan/Facebook (left), University of Mindanao (right)

PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. appointed Purita Arsenia Bian and Dr. Guillermo “Willy” Torres Jr. as the new members of the Mindanao Development Authority's (MinDA) board of directors on June 24, 2024.

Bian, more known as Joji Ilagan-Bian, is the founder and chairperson of Joji Ilagan International Schools while Torres serves as the president and CEO of the University of Mindanao (UM), whose main campus is found in Davao City.

Following the Malacañang Palace announcement, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao (Opamine) secretary and newly appointed chair of MinDA, Leo Tereso Magno, welcomed the two distinguished Dabawenyos to MinDA.

“Their appointment, I’m certain, would bring something good for Davao City and the rest of the region and the entire island of Mindanao,” Magno penned in his statement.

He added that their leadership will greatly intensify the efforts to support Mindanao's sustainable growth and development.

“Their extensive experience and dedication to the development of Mindanao will be invaluable as we work together to drive progress and prosperity in the region,” he maintained.

On May 13, the President appointed Magno as the new chair of the agency and replaced former Sec. Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, ending her supposed six-year term for only two years.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin notified Acosta in writing on May 22 that she was dismissed from her post as of May 21. Bersamin stated that Magno's appointment was "legal and valid" and that President Marcos removed Acosta from her post due to a "loss of trust and confidence". 

The Mindanao Development Authority Act of 2010, also known as Republic Act (RA) 9996, establishing MinDA, is entrusted with encouraging, organizing, and enabling all sectors' active engagement in Mindanao's socioeconomic development. 

The President appoints the MinDA chair, who is also the Philippine Senior Official for BIMP-Eaga and the chair's ex officio representative on the boards of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority and the National Economic Development Authority (Neda).

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