Mindanao Development

MINDANAO DEVELOPMENT Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, (center) chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Daniel Miller,
chief of the Office of Economic Development
of the US Agency for International Development - Philippines sign an agreement aimed to push
the South Central Mindanao Corridor (SCMC) as a primary food basket, agribusiness and logistics hub during a ceremony recently held at the
Greenleaf Hotel in General Santos City. The agreement
will also facilitate the development of a framework and conceptual plan for the
establishment of
an Aerotropolis in General Santos City, a multi-million Peso project that will integrate the different points of entry in the SCMC.
Also in photo are MinDA Undersecretary Janet Lopoz (left) with Anita
Hernaez and Niña Yago (standing), technical staff of MinDA.


 Mindanao Partners

MINDANAO PARTNERS Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, (left) chair of the Mindanao Development Authority, Richard Bolt, country director
of the Asian Development Bank – Philippines and Daniel Miller, chief of the Office of Economic Development of the US Agency for International
Development – Philippines sit as panelists during an open forum held in General Santos City following the signing of agreements aimed to
spur development in Mindanao, capitalizing on the island-region's geographic and socioeconomic advantages.


GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Agreements that will spur development in Mindanao, particularly in the South Central Mindanao Corridor (SCMC) were signed by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), capitalizing on the island-region's geographic and socioeconomic advantages.

During formal ceremony held here recently at the Greenleaf Hotel, MinDA Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati Antonino and USAID-Philippines Chief of the Office of Economic Development and Governance Daniel Miller led the signing of an agreement aimed to push the SCMC as a primary food basket, agribusiness and logistics hub, as well as a biodiversity and ecotourism focus area.

Another agreement was signed by Secretary Antonino and ADB Country Director Richard Bolt on the implementation of programs that will address specific issues in public and private investments in the SCMC, particularly in the Bangsamoro areas.

"These projects will cement South Central Mindanao's position as the country's foremost agribusiness and logistics hub," said Antonino.

She added that the partnerships highlight the shared commitment to develop Mindanao and to improve the quality of life of all Mindanawons.

The SCMC is composed of the Davao Region, the South Cotabato, Cotabato City Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani (SOCCKSARGEN) Region and the mainland Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It is one of the three development corridors in the Mindanao Development Corridors Program, aimed to position the island-region as a single, integrated economy that is able to leverage and actively participate in the ASEAN and the rest of the world.

USAID's agreement with MinDA will specifically facilitate for the development of a framework and conceptual plan for the establishment of an Aerotropolis in General Santos City, a multimillion Peso project that will integrate the different points of entry in the SCMC.

The Aerotropolis plans to develop some 200 hectares of property surrounding the General Santos airport to an integrated complex that will include business parks, amusement parks, hotels, integrated food terminal, food processing and manufacturing activities, and shopping malls.

Other projects identified in the USAID agreement are the creation of strategies for the network of ports, including the identification of functional roads that will support the SCMC. The agreement also seeks to draft the strategy for the development of the Ecotourism and Biodiversity Cluster that will extend from Surigao del Norte (including Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin) to Davao Oriental in Mindanao's Eastern seaboard.

"Our commitment to help strengthen the Mindanao Development Corridors is built upon partnerships forged many years ago to promote economic growth in Mindanao," said Miller.

He added that this current cooperation will directly support the spatial strategy of the Mindanao peace and development framework and will significantly contribute to achieving the Mindanao 2020 vision."

The Mindanao 202O is a 20-year peace and development roadmap for Mindanao, which envisions to addresses the various challenges and opportunities of the island-region not only within the context of securing peace amid a history of conflict but also in terms of harnessing its inherently rich socioeconomic potentials primarily for the benefit of Mindanawons.

The agreement with ADB on the other hand will facilitate for the conduct of a study that will prepare the Bangsamoro areas in their anticipated participation in the SCMC. Active involvement of the private sector during the conduct of the study will be encouraged while key interventions that will allow for the utilization of the corridor's inherent potentials will be identified.

Priority pipeline projects that will include Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in South Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro areas will also be identified in the study, including capacity-building initiatives among key staff to enhance capabilities in project preparation.

"ADB is Mindanao's long-term partner and we also consider the island-region as our home," said Bolt while adding, "among the first projects of ADB in the Philippines were implemented in Mindanao which included road, hydropower, and ports development projects as well as initiatives in strengthening agri-based industries through irrigation construction."

The ADB assistance is also expected to enhance planning and the establishment of program monitoring and evaluation system for the Mindanao Development Corridors, while strengthening the links between MinDA and the Bangsamoro Development Authority.

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