Bangsamoro desk in MinDA main office in Davao; MinDA desk in BARMM 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 September) – A Member of Parliament (MP) has filed a resolution at the Parliament of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) requesting the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to establish a Bangsamoro desk in the main office of MinDA in Davao City to “strengthen coordination and linkage-building with Mindanao’s stakeholders.”

The move is welcomed by  Secretary Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta, MinDa chair. 

Engr. Baintan-Adil Ampatuan,  Member of Parliament (MP) and principal author of the proposed resolution, said a devoted desk for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the MinDA main office enhances cooperation between BARMM and the MinDA and could help engage and promote the autonomous region to the development partners. 

Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim (center) with Secretary Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta (3rd from left), chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), with Minister of Transportation and Communication Dickson Hermoso and other officials from government and Philippine Airlines, just before the inaugural flight from Cotabato to Tawi-Tawi early morning of 9 June 2022. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

She said it is important to be “innovative in responding to Bangsamoro needs by strengthening coordination and linkages and focusing on good communications and partnerships with stakeholders with mutual interest.”

“Reciprocally,” Acosta told MindaNews on Saturday,  they “will put up a MinDA desk in the BARMM as well for the same reasons” as cited by Ampatuan. 

Under RA 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM, the Bangsamoro Chief Minister is a member of MinDA, an ex officio member of the National Security Council and the National Economic and Development Authority Board on matters concerning the Bangsamoro region. 

The proposed resolution states that several foreign partners and private groups have manifested their support for the development of the Bangsamoro Region, that both MinDA and BARMM “are expected to pursue strategic interfacing for inter-regional programs and projects that impact highly on BARMM which include investments promotion, agriculture, connectivity, power and energy, BIMP-EAGA, and barter trade, among others.”

A September 21 press release posted on the website of MinDA said MinDA, Singapore-based Ocean Pixel, and Altum Green Energy, through a Memorandum of Understanding “will jointly develop and advocate investments in the blue economy and green energy in Mindanao, particularly in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” and that this renewable energy partnership “is one of the results of last month’s Mindanao Business Mission to Singapore.”

In creating the MinDA in 2010, Republic Act 9996 said it is a policy of the state to “accelerate the socioeconomic growth of Mindanao, increasing its trade, tourism and investments, encouraging private enterprise and advancing efforts towards peace and development” and that towards that end, “an effective institutional mechanism shall be established to address the need for a coordinated and integrated approach in the formulation and implementation of various Mindanao-wide inter-regional development plans, programs and projects.”

Map of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in relation to Mindanao. BARMM comprises the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur and Lanao del Sur in the mainland and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi, the cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato and 63 villages in six North Cotabato towns that voted for inclusion in the BARMM in February 2019. Map courtesy of the BARMM website.

MinDA is also tasked to promote the active participation of Mindanao and Palawan in the Brunei-Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia are members of the Organization of  Islamic Cooperation. 

The proposed resolution is co-authored by MPs Amir Mawallil, Laisa Masuhud- Alamia, Suharto M. Ambolodto, Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr.; Don Arbison A. Loong and Rasul Enderez Ismael.  (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)