DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 August) – Former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol formally takes over the chairmanship of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) at 9 a.m. on Monday in ceremonies that he said will be attended by Mindanao’s business and political leaders and leaders from the Bangsamoro and Indigenous Peoples (IPs).
Piñol is the fourth MinDA chair after Jesus Dureza under the Arroyo administration, Luwalhati Antonino under the Aquino administration and Abulkhayr Alonto under the Duterte administration until his death on May 9.
Duterte designated Neil Dalumpines as OIC MinDA chair and appointed Piñol on August 5, the same day he named William Dar as Agriculture Secretary.
Piñol, who hails from M’lang in North Cotabato, took his oath as MinDA chair before Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on August 14.
Piñol was a sportswriter of a national daily before he became mayor of M’lang 1995 to 1998, Governor of North Cotabato from 1998 to 2007 and Vice Governor from 2007 to 2010.
He will serve as MinDA chair until August 2025 as Republic Act 9996, the law that created MinDA in February 2010, provides for a six-year term for the chair.
Piñol wrote on his FB page that he had initially wanted a simple and quiet turnover from OIC Dalumpines “but I had a change of mind last Tuesday realizing that there is a need to make the people and leaders of Mindanao feel that MinDA is theirs.”
He said among those invited were “the Sultans of Sulu, Maguindanao, Buayan and Lanao and leaders of the major tribes of Mindanao,” Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; and Nur Misuari, chair of the Moro National Liberation Front.
The turnover rites will be held at the MinDA office in the Old Airport Building in Davao City.
RA 9996 created MinDA to “promote, coordinate and facilitate the active and extensive participation of all sectors to effect the socioeconomic development of Mindanao” and to promote the “active participation of Mindanao and Palawan in the Brunei-Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines-East Asia Growth Area.” (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)