DAVAO CITY – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) remains committed to working with its partners to further push the transformation and development of Mindanao.
Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, MinDa deputy executive director, said Wednesday that concerted effort has been key to Mindanao’s progress and transformation in the last 30 years since the creation of its forerunner--the Mindanao Economic Development Council, which was formed in 1992 via executive order.
Although MinDA has recorded gains over the years, Montenegro said "there is still so much work to do for Mindanao to catch up with national development and poverty reduction targets."
Montenegro said the same formula of cooperation will take Mindanao to "accelerated growth, inclusive and sustainable development—and the realization of the President's dream of fulfilling the Mindanao’s promise."
During the 9th anniversary celebration of MinDA on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte urged the agency to pursue more progressive and inclusive strategies for growth in the region.
Duterte highlighted MinDA’s role in the implementation of viable socio-economic programs in Mindanao, especially as the island enters a new period of peace and development with the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The President noted that MinDA is the primary coordinating agency in the affairs of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), which also celebrated its 25th year.
“By facilitating the active involvement and participation of all relevant sectors in your initiatives, you have enabled the institution of effective mechanisms for socio-civic endeavors, launched political education campaigns, and the establishment of agro-economic zones across the nation,” Duterte said.
Duterte underscored the power of collaborative efforts in realizing peace and sustainable growth across Mindanao, even as he counted on MinDA’s "commitment to contribute further" in his administration’s goal on improving the people’s lives through peace and development.
Duterte expects that MinDA will continue to lead the creation of more viable opportunities in trade and investment, transportation, agri-business, tourism, energy, and environmental protection and management, among others, not only in the region but in the entire BIMP-EAGA corridor.
Duterte vowed that his administration “will remain resolute in building the capacity of our local government units to deliver excellent public service and promote good governance, especially in Mindanao.
MinDA Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto said that under the current administration, the agency is able to further strengthen its integrated approach in the formulation and implementation of various Mindanao-wide inter-regional development plans, programs and projects.
Alonto highlighted one of MinDA’s flagship program – the Mindanao Development Corridors, a spatial development strategy aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Mindanao industries by providing common service facilities. (PNA)