Sen. Christopher ‘’Bong’’ Go backs the proposed budgets of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and the Southern Philippine Development Authority (SPDA) to bring in more economic opportunities, long lasting peace, and sustainable development in Mindanao.
During a Senate hearing conducted by a Committee on Finance sub-committee, Go asked the government to implement important reforms to spur development in Mindanao.
“Mindanao and its people have suffered decades of injustice and social inequity,” Go noted.
“The government must continuously strive to bring about the much-needed reform and development in the Mindanao region and ensure just, inclusive, and lasting peace in the area,” he said.
As one of its main proponents, Go said that the proposed the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” (BP2) program aims to achieve this, as the initiative is seen to decongest Metro Manila and other big metropolitan areas by encouraging investments and promoting economic opportunities in all regions to motivate Filipinos to reside in their provinces.
“To do this, I emphasized the need to boost the development in our rural areas by ensuring peace and order in the area, creating jobs, incentivizing businesses to invest in the countryside, and providing support for micro, small, and medium enterprises, among others,” he added.
The senator from Davao lauded MinDA for its participation in the BP2.
“In coordination with concerned LGUs (local government units), BP2 member-agencies, and other relevant institutions, MinDA has initiated the preparation of relocation sites in Mindanao, and assisted host LGUs and concerned agencies in social mobilization,” he said.
Last June, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, MinDA chairman, disclosed that the BP2 Council member-agencies concluded a series of consultations with various local officials in preparation for those who wish to relocate to the provinces.
Go had earlier expressed support to the directive for members of the Cabinet Officers for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) to organize and convene their Regional Development Council special BP2 committees.
According to Go, the creation of special BP2 committees in each RDC will ensure the success of the BP2 program in every region when it is fully implemented as it will promote close coordination among the different levels of governance from national agencies to LGUs.
During the hearing, Go commended the SPDA for promoting the development of the Southern Philippines through their various programs and projects.
“I also urge the SPDA to assist in the development of the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao),” he added.
Go also lauded the OPAPP, particularly for its implementation of the normalization program in the BARMM.
“Importante po kay Pangulong Duterte ang kapayapaan sa Mindanao (Peace in Mindanao is important for President Duterte) . He is doing his best to achieve just and long-lasting peace,” Go said.
“We hope that the government’s efforts will be successful in achieving sustainable peace and development in Mindanao,” he added.