Mindanao economic planning agency finalizes 10-year dev’t framework

Published by rudy Date posted on August 27, 2010

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will release for consultations next month the initial draft of the island’s 2020 peace and development framework.

The framework will serve as guide to government and civil development initiatives for the next 10 years.

“The target is that by September there will be a document that would be rolled for validation in every region in Mindanao,” said Romeo M. Montenegro, economic specialist and MinDA spokesman.

“This is not a plan nor a blueprint, but just a framework where we hope that National Government, local government units, all other agencies and the business community will align their specific investments,” he said during the opening yesterday of the 6th Zamboanga Peninsula Business Conference.

The idea for a 2020 framework came up after the Mindanao 2000 Development Framework Plan for 1996-2010 that was drafted under the Ramos administration ended with “so many areas [left] to be developed,” Mr. Montenegro said.

The framework, he explained, will focus on five areas, namely: peace and security, economy and environment, human development, social cohesion and enabling environment.

Edgar M. Bagarinao, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.’s regional governor for Western Mindanao, said the business sector welcomes the framework since it will provide a guide on where best to invest for maximum socioeconomic impact.

“Over the years, Davao has been on the frontline of regional economic performance,” Mr. Bagarinao said.

“But that was years ago. Lately, Northern Mindanao surpassed Davao in regional economic performance and, in fact, Region 12 is also moving well,” he noted.

“What we are seeing is that there is equal opportunity for every region to really get ahead.”

Mr. Montenegro said the complete document of the framework will be released in December, for submission to Malacañang and Congress.

He said the 2020 framework also seeks to correct the lopsided pattern in the budgetary allocation.

“Per square kilometer and per capita, there is still a huge gap in terms of budget allocation when we compare Mindanao with Luzon, and Visayas,” Mr. Montenegro said.

“And yet, Mindanao contributes 30% of agricultural output, and 40% of food trade.” — D. T. Wee, Businessworld

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