Mindanao Business Council Chair Vicente Lao

Mindanao Business Council Chair Vincente Lao (5th from left) and his wife, Rose Lao (3rd from left),
his daughter Dorothy Jane Cejas (2nd from left), and son Joel Darwin Lao (extreme right), pose for
a posterity photo with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (4th from left) and Mindanao Development
Authority (MinDa) Chair Luwalhati Antonino during his oath taking as member of MinDA’s Board of
Directors on Tuesday (June 30) at Malacañang Palace in Manila.

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A key business leader from Mindanao was officially sworn in as member of the Mindanao Development Authority Board of Directors (MinDA-BOD), strengthening further the participation of the private sector in delivering good governance and development initiatives in the island-region.

Mindanao Business Council Chair Vicente Lao was sworn in by President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday at the Malacañang Palace, officially designating him as the representative of the private sector (business sector) in the MinDA-BOD.

"I am happy to note that we have one of the most distinguished business leaders of Mindanao sitting with us in the board. His participation will allow us to develop and determine programs that will improve the region's business climate," said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, MinDA chair.

The MinDA-BOD was created through Republic Act No. 9996 or the MinDA Act of 2010. The board provides and approves the overall directions and thrusts of the agency for Mindanao.

MinDA is the government agency mandated to promote, coordinate, and facilitate the active and extensive participation of all sectors to effect socioeconomic development of Mindanao.

"In the recent years, we have observed increasing investor confidence in Mindanao. Having Lao in the board will allow us to understand and determine the needs of the business sector, and in turn help us develop programs and align projects that will benefit both the business sector and the Mindanawons," Antonino added.

Among the major functions of the MinDA-BOD include ensuring that the goals and policies of MinDA are consistent with the overall national development goals and objectives; ensuring that the programs of MinDA are consistent with regional and local development plans, programs and projects and vice versa for purposes of harmonization; exploring sources for financing of priority Mindanao-wide and/or Mindanao-specific inter-regional plans, programs, projects and activities; and creating committees or task forces as may be deemed necessary in the accomplishment of duties and functions.

"The business sector plays a great role in the development of Mindanao's socioeconomic climate by providing jobs to the Mindanawons and spurring economic activity in the region," said Lao.

Currently, the MinDA-BOD is composed of Antonino; Sen. Teofisto D. Guingona III; House Committee on Mindanao Affairs Chair Rep. Arnulfo F. Go; House Committee on BIMP-EAGA Affairs Chair Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizarro; Mindanao Confederation of Governors President Gov. Johnny Pimentel; Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines President Gov. Alfonso V. Umali Jr.; Regional Development Council (RDC) IX Acting Chair Teresita Socorro C. Ramos; RDC X chair Gov. Mohamad Khalid Q. Dimaporo; RDC XI Chair Gov. Rodolfo P. del Rosario; RDC XII Acting Chair Arturo G. Valero; RDC XIII Chair Sol F. Matugas; ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman; National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Sec. Yasmin Busran Lao; Private Sector-Academe Representative Atty. Rejoice Subejano; Private Sector-NGO representative Amina Rasul-Bernardo; and Southern Philippines Development Authority Administrator Sultan Yahya Jerry M. Tomawis.

"The MinDA-BOD through MinDA will continue to carry out coordinating and integrating development efforts that bring about the accelerated socio-economic development of Mindanao, which has been laid out in the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework," Antonino said.

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