The goal of helping predominantly Muslim areas in Mindanao accelerate the process of catching up with the rest of the country in terms of economic and social development will be discussed by stakeholders at the Philippines Development Forum (PDF) in Davao City.
Proposed projects and programs to improve the quality of life in
Bangsamoro areas which are contained in the draft Bangsamoro Development
Plan (BDP) will be the focus of this year’s PDF.
The BDP, which serves as the blueprint for the development of Bangsamoro
areas, was drafted by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) with
assistance from other government agencies and development partners.
The BDP provides a short- and medium-term vision, strategy, and
recommendations for the socio-economic recovery and development of the
Bangsamoro areas during the transition years (2015 to mid-2016) and
after the installation of the new Bangsamoro government (mid-2016 to
The draft BDP complements the peace accord between the national
government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and is meant to
unleash the potential of Bangsamoro areas.
“As we strive to achieve the goal of the Philippine Development Plan
(PDP), which is inclusive growth, we realize that a significant
proportion of our people, the Bangsamoros, were being left behind. These
gaps resulted from decades of conflict. With the proper development
strategy and with sustained peace, we can significantly improve the
quality of life of the Bangsamoro people,” Socioeconomic Planning
Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.
“With enough support
to the BDP—both financial and non-financial—we can help Bangsamoro areas
develop a competitive business climate that generates investments and
jobs,” BDA Executive Director Mohammad Yacob said.
Some of the projects and programs under the BDP will be funded by the
national government, while others will have to be financed by official
The projects and programs of the draft BDP fall under seven thematic
areas: livelihood, infrastructure, education, social services,
environment, culture & identity, security & normalization.
As a result of over four decades of armed conflict, Bangsamoro areas
have lagged behind most regions of the country in terms of social and
For instance, gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in 2013 stood at only 3.6 percent
compared with the national average of 7.2 percent.
Poverty incidence in 2012 was recorded at 55.8 percent in ARMM compared with the national average of 25.2 percent.
But with the improvement in the peace-and-order situation under the
Aquino administration, the development agenda for the Bangsamoro areas
should get the focus it deserves.
As such, the Department of Finance, which is the lead organizer of the
annual PDF, deemed it prudent to focus this year’s event on Bangsamoro
PDF is a venue where the government’s development plans are presented
mainly before development partners—including the World Bank, the Asian
Development Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation and other
bilateral institutions—to gather support.
This year’s PDF is being held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on November 5 – 6.
The event will be graced by President Benigno Aquino III, who will
deliver the keynote. Other senior government officials, officials from
the MILF and BDA, and representatives from development institutions, the
academe, and the business community will also attend the event.
(Investor Relations Office/MARO PCOO)