With poverty reduction as one of the priorities of the Mindanao Development Authority, under the new leadership of Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the agency is set to tap the local government units as key partners in poverty alleviation initiatives of the agency.

In a statement during his assumption as Chairman of MinDA, Piñol said that poverty needs to be addressed with doable and practical programs and projects that can be owned and implemented by the Mindanao LGUs.

“Our target is to lift up these provinces so that at the end of my six year term as the MinDA Chairman, there will be no Mindanao province in the list of the poorest provinces of the country,” Piñol said.

Among the immediate concerns that Piñol wants to address is the plummeting price of paddy rice very low price of coconut products.

“More roads leading to the production areas and fish ports must also be constructed. More investments will not come if we do not have the needed infrastructure,” he added.

In a position paper on the allocation of equitable budget share for Mindanao, MinDA contends that public investment in infrastructure, economic growth, and ultimately, poverty reduction come hand in hand in ushering sustainable development.

To catch up with the Dutertenomics target of boosting the island-region’s economy by 7 to 8 percent, and reducing poverty to 20 percent by year 2022, MinDA continues its budget advocacy to increase the Mindanao budget allocation to Php 1.35 trillion, to be spread in the next three years.

The budget increase advocacy of MinDA primarily focused on the prioritization of sustainable infrastructure development that fully supports development of industries, SMEs, ecotourism, and other projects that contribute more to poverty alleviation.

“We will work closely with the local government units of Mindanao to achieve all these objectives,” Piñol said.

Meanwhile, MinDA is also proposing under the Cabinet Cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction for a Mindanao mechanism on poverty reduction through skills development which is currently being designed as a program by the World Bank. 

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