Photo from Presidential Communications Operations Office

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

With less than two years before the first Philippine President from Mindanao bows out of office, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will host a series of face to face and virtual meetings with the region’s leaders to identify priority projects and programs which still need to be undertaken.

The forum, “Mindanao Speaks Up,” will also determine whether people’s expectations from President Rody Duterte’s presidency were sufficiently addressed.

This will then be referred to ranking officials of the Duterte Administration who are occupying Cabinet portfolios led by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, TESDA Secretary General Isidro Lapena, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Press Secretary Martin Andanar and Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority Chairperson Charito Plaza.

The process will start October at the provincial level where Governors and Mayors will lead the identification of at least one or two critical projects and programs needed to turn their areas’ economy around and touch the lives of people.

From there, the Governors in each of the six regions of Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which is headed by a Chief Minister, will be asked to present each province’s output to the MinDA.

After all of the Regional outputs are collated, MinDA will invite all Cabinet level officials from Mindanao, including Undersecretaries, Mindanao Senators and key Congressional leaders to a forum where the Regional Development Council Chairman, with their Governors and City Mayors, will each present the critical programs and projects.

The proposal to hold the Mindanao Leaders’ Forum was actually suggested by Philippine Export Processing Zone Chairperson Charito Plaza to the Mindanao Development Authority.

She said that with less than two years left before the end of the term of the President, there are still many critical projects in Mindanao which have not been funded or implemented.

It was MinDA which came up with the idea of matching people’s expectations from their first President from Mindanao with what has been delivered over the last four years.

The “Mindanao Speaks Up” Forum outputs will be submitted for inclusion in the 2022 Budget of the President through the different Cabihet level officials from Mindanao.

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