GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/13 Dec) – Mindanao’s local government officials and legislators have urged the Aquino administration to adopt as one of its major agenda the newly-formulated Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework as well as its inclusion to the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan.
Members of the Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors League Presidents of Mindanao (CONFED-Mindanao) and lawmakers under the Mindanao Lawmakers Association (MLA) last week pinned their hopes to the blueprint in the development of the island.
President Benigno S.C. Aquino III has already received a copy of Mindanao 2020, considered by Mindanao government executives as the official blueprint for Mindanao’s peace and development initiatives in the next 20 years.
The Mindanao representatives and local chief executives are one in pushing for a new framework to guide the peace and development efforts in Mindanao considering the changes in the island-region’s development landscape for the last decade, a statement from the Mindanao Development Authority said.
“A holistic and multi-dimensional peace and development roadmap is vital to promote inclusive and broad-based growth in Mindanao while putting emphasis on history, culture, social development and peace-building”, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo P. del Rosario, CONFED-Mindanao president, was quoted as saying.
He said that Mindanao 2020 underwent participatory and consultative process with a wide cross-section of individuals and stakeholder groups, including the local government units.
Del Rosario said that the framework embodies the vision of all Mindanaoans “as it represents the diverse people, culture and religion of Mindanao.”
For his part, Rep. Loreto Leo S. Ocampos (2nd District, Misamis Occidental), also MLA president, said that Mindanao 2020 is a general template for peace and development in the island.
He urged the Mindanao stakeholders to consolidate efforts to achieve a peaceful and prosperous island economy.
“We must be united as one voice so that we can strongly present our positions to the President for more funding and attention”, Ocampos said.
He said that the Mindanao representatives recognize the importance of pursuing legislative measures in support of the medium and long term peace and development initiatives under the Mindanao 2020 strategies.
Ocampos said that the Mindanao bloc in Congress shall be aggressive in rallying behind the fulfillment of the Mindanao 2020 vision by passing appropriate legislative measures, including the advocacy for increasing Mindanao’s budget.
Mindanao 2020 lays down necessary measures to ensure that in 20 years, “every Mindanawon, regardless of cultural or socio-economic background, shall have attained a sustainably uplifted quality of life through collective achievement of a peaceful, developed and integrated Mindanao.”
It was borne out of more than 300 focus group discussions, key informant interviews and sectoral consultations from all across the island-region. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)