Manila turns focus on Mindanao

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Mindanao riverThe Philippine government is keen to shift Mindanao to the top of its developmental agenda, citing positive growth in the country’s economy and the freshly signed peace framework agreement with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), government officials said at the two-day Philippine Development Forum (PDF) on February 4.

The PDF follows the two-day Mindanao Development Forum, the first of its kind, and marks the first time the event has ever been held in Mindanao, taking place in Davao, the island’s largest city.

President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to make a closing statement at the forum on February 5, reiterating the importance of prioritizing the island in the country’s developmental plans. The shift in focus is especially critical in this election year, when Aquino risks losing seats in the senate.

“Unlocking Mindanao’s potential is high up in the administration’s list of priorities,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said just one day ahead of the forum.

“Already, the region is poised to make great strides in pursuing its socio-economic goals, given the wealth of its resources and its remarkable growth prospects. 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,” Abad said.

The peace framework agreement, officially known as the Framework Agreement with Bangsamoro (FAB), signed in October 2012, has admittedly a long way to go to clear up concerns, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on the first day of the PDF.

However, he added that “we are very optimistic about Mindanao’s contribution to national development, particularly in agribusiness, tourism and halal industries.”

Furthermore, the government needs to pay attention to several certain clusters in this critical stage of development, including good governance and anti-corruption, human development and poverty reduction, justice and peace, climate change and mitigation, and economic development. Infrastructure was also a priority focus for the island, which has large swathes of unpaved roads even in city centers and experiences regular power cuts.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippine government is keen to shift Mindanao to the top of its developmental agenda, citing positive growth in the country’s economy and the freshly signed peace framework agreement with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), government officials said at the two-day Philippine Development Forum (PDF) on February 4.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mindanao riverThe Philippine government is keen to shift Mindanao to the top of its developmental agenda, citing positive growth in the country’s economy and the freshly signed peace framework agreement with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), government officials said at the two-day Philippine Development Forum (PDF) on February 4.

The PDF follows the two-day Mindanao Development Forum, the first of its kind, and marks the first time the event has ever been held in Mindanao, taking place in Davao, the island’s largest city.

President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to make a closing statement at the forum on February 5, reiterating the importance of prioritizing the island in the country’s developmental plans. The shift in focus is especially critical in this election year, when Aquino risks losing seats in the senate.

“Unlocking Mindanao’s potential is high up in the administration’s list of priorities,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said just one day ahead of the forum.

“Already, the region is poised to make great strides in pursuing its socio-economic goals, given the wealth of its resources and its remarkable growth prospects. 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,” Abad said.

The peace framework agreement, officially known as the Framework Agreement with Bangsamoro (FAB), signed in October 2012, has admittedly a long way to go to clear up concerns, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on the first day of the PDF.

However, he added that “we are very optimistic about Mindanao’s contribution to national development, particularly in agribusiness, tourism and halal industries.”

Furthermore, the government needs to pay attention to several certain clusters in this critical stage of development, including good governance and anti-corruption, human development and poverty reduction, justice and peace, climate change and mitigation, and economic development. Infrastructure was also a priority focus for the island, which has large swathes of unpaved roads even in city centers and experiences regular power cuts.

 

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