070920 Selfreliance2
MinDA Chairman Secretary Emmanuel Piñol emphasizes local government units should tap into their individual coping mechanisms and maximize resources under the new normal setup during a meeting with other MinDA officials in Davao City. Photo by MinDA

DAVAO CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol underscores the need for the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Mindanao to be self-reliant, as the country grapples with the effects of COVID-19, in his Management Committee (ManCom) Meeting with MinDA officials on Tuesday.

Piñol believes that in order to restart the economy and bolster socioeconomic development in the island-region, every Local Government Unit should rely on their own concerted efforts and abilities in this time of recovery since the national government, on the other hand, has been devoting its resources to the on-going fight against the pandemic.

“LGUs cannot expect a lot from the national government. Walang pondo ang national government ngayon. In fact, na-sequestered ang mga pondo ng mga ahensya. So, there’s not much money to talk about right now,” Piñol said noting that majority of government funds were realigned to combat the COVID-19.

As MinDA Chairman, Piñol is keen on refocusing the agency’s programs in order to help the economy regain its momentum once again and bring forth concrete results that will be felt on the ground despite financial difficulties and limitations present.

“Our objective is to really restart the economy of Mindanao. Ang dapat nating tingnan in prioritizing our programs: ano ‘yong may immediate effect na programa na maka-benepisyo agad ‘yong mga tao natin and ma-restart ‘yong economy,” he said addressing to his management team.

While efforts on the restoration of the economy are underway, he highlights that it is the right time for the Local Government Units to unleash their individual coping mechanisms and maximize resources under the new normal set-up.

“So, whatever we do in Mindanao right now will be guided by the philosophy of self-reliance. We will have to encourage LGUs to really invest,” Piñol added

Citing his recent official visits to Impasugong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan (IMTASULA), he encouraged the mayors of the respective areas to look for ways to prop-up their local economies.

“You buy equipment. ‘Wag kayong matakot mangutang. Bumili kayo ng equipment sapagkat you have to build your own roads right now.”

Among the COVID-19 response programs that MinDA is actively taking on are the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” Program, Sustainable Agriculture Project for IMTASULA areas and MinDA Tienda.

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