EDITABLETalkingHeads Long
My fellow workers in the government, ladies and gentlemen…

Thank you for inviting the Mindanao Development Authority to this momentous occasion for the Southern Philippines Development Authority.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate and commend former Congressman, ABDULGHANI “GERRY” A. SALAPUDDIN on his appointment as the news Administrator and CEO of SPDA.

But even before his role now with SPDA, he has played important part in the overall pursuit of socio-economic development in Mindanao, with service and dedication to securing a better quality of life for our Moro brothers and sisters.

You see, MinDA and SPDA mandates are closely related and are truly complementary. Both offices were created based on the same vision of the government which is to foster socioeconomic growth in Mindanao.

As the first Bangsamoro Chairman of the MinDA, I am more than determined to strengthen this partnership and to even bank on this relatedness between our agencies to ensure that we are able to effectively undertake big-ticket priority investments including the Trans Mindanao High Speed Railway project, and various catalytic enterprises under the Mindanao Development Corridor strategy.

These are projects that are envisioned to have inter-regional impact, and are certain to reach beyond the urban centers. We will ensure that development is spread out to developing areas through connectivity infrastructure, intensive investments facilitation, and by establishing policies and institutions conducive to growth.

However, big ticket projects such as these will not be possible without the cooperation of every implementing government agency and even that of the local governments. This is why what remains crucial in our vision and plans for Mindanao-wide development is a strong constituency that will rally behind our common aspirations.

Sadly, over the last decade, Mindanao has been receiving on the average 11.45% of the total budget of the country. This is less than Mindanao’s contribution to the economy, which stands at 15.29%. It is even lesser than its share to the country’s total land area of 25%. That is the irony of Mindanao.

We are the source of food and industrial raw materials and yet, we continue to suffer from the most basic of problems. This is why we need this constituency now more than ever, to make our voices louder and the message clearer: to give Mindanao our fair share of budget.

I trust that MinDA and SPDA under the leadership now of Brother GERRY SALAPUDDIN can be strong allies of the Mindanawons, of the Bangsamoro people of bringing forth our vision of progressive and peaceful Mindanao.

Imagine what more the island-region can achieve if we are able to lift the conflict areas up, if we are able to address once and for all the lingering challenges of poverty and peace in Mindanao. As I always say, war will no longer be an option for Mindanao. We will deliver peace through development, through increased economic activities, and through uplifted quality of lives.

Thank you and more power!
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