ADB Support

ADB SUPPORT. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati Antonino (seated, 3rd from left), together with Philippine Government officials and executive directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), meet during a recent visit to Davao City to familiarize socioeconomic initiatives in Mindanao, specifically the region's participation in the BIMP-EAGA. The ADB provides technical support to the sub-regional economic grouping through strategic, operational, and administrative assistance.


Integrating Mindanao

INTEGRATING MINDANAO. Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) receives a plaque of appreciation from Gaudencio Hernandez Jr., alternate executive director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in recognition of MinDA's role as the central agency responsible for integrating socio-economic development initiatives in Mindanao. Also in the photo are (l to r) ADB Executive Directors Muhammad Sami Saeed and Umesh Kumar.


Mindanao Visit

MINDANAO VISIT. Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) shares a light moment with Richard Bolt, country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) during the latter's recent trip to Davao City for a familiarization visit on Mindanao projects. Also in photo is Undersecretary Janet Lopoz, MinDA's executive director.


DAVAO CITY, Philippines – "While we mourn for the unfortunate loss of lives caused by the Mamasapano incident, development and peace-building efforts must be continued and even be intensified in Mindanao," said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority in a recent meeting with top executives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Antonino, who sat down with ADB's Board of Directors as part of the latter's familiarization visit to Mindanao, thanked the institution for its continued support to the socioeconomic and development initiatives of the island-region.

"I laud ADB's unwavering support to Mindanao and its people, and it is most encouraging to learn that in this time of challenges, the institution has decided to continue with its visit to learn more about Mindanao and design development initiatives aimed to further enhance the region's economic potentials," she said.

A delegation of 16 ADB board members and advisors arrived in Mindanao to familiarize on the various social sector projects funded by the development bank, particularly on the Increasing Competitiveness in Tourism project being implemented by the Department of Tourism. Last year, a delegation from ADB also went to Leyte, Ilocos Norte, Albay, and Bohol to visit health, agriculture, and other socioeconomic projects particularly in areas severely hit by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Early this year, ADB extended a US$1.4 million technical assistance for the improvement of national roads in Mindanao, as support to the Philippine Government's agenda for Mindanao in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.

Part of the plan is to update and consolidate the existing Mindanao network master plan, aligning it with the economic developments for Mindanao's road network, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM.)

"This high-level visit of ADB executives to Mindanao is not only a manifestation of their interest to support the region's socioeconomic initiatives, but also sends a strong message that Mindanao is safe, and that it will continue to pursue development despite the odds that the region is currently facing," said Antonino.

She added that healing from the recent incident may take time, but this can be done with sobriety without veering away from the ultimate goal of achieving just, and lasting peace in the island-region, particularly in the conflict-affected areas of the ARMM.

During the meeting, a briefing on Mindanao and its participation in the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippine East ASEAN (BIMP-EAG) Growth Area was conducted, while the Bangsamoro Development Plan was also presented by a representative from the Bangsamoro Development Authority.

"The meeting was an excellent opportunity for us to learn more about Mindanao, especially for my colleagues in the ADB board of directors who are relatively new to the country," said Guadencio Hernandez Jr., ADB alternate executive director in a correspondence with MinDA.

He added that ADB has been supporting BIMP-EAGA since its inception in 1994 through various technical assistance projects.

"The institution was named as the regional development advisor and has since been providing assistance at strategic, operational, and administrative levels," said Hernadez.

Along with direct support for BIMP-EAGA, ADB's country assistance to Indonesia and the Philippines also helps the countries implement their BIMP-EAGA's agenda.

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