Mindanao local leaders upbeat on pushing for key programs, projects


Mindanao local leaders upbeat on pushing for key programs, projects

Davao City (23 November) -- More local government participation in development planning will be seen at the regions, provinces, cities and municipalities of Mindanao as local leaders have vowed here recently to solidify their ranks and intensify efforts in pushing for high-impact programs and projects at the local level.

"CONFED Mindanao is one of the vehicles for peace and progress and so with the election of new officers, we would like to become an active participant in local development planning," said Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, newly installed president of the Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors League Presidents in Mindanao (CONFED Mindanao).

As a key advocacy group for Mindanao, Del Rosario said CONFED will see to it that critical development programs and projects in Mindanao will be funded, particularly those that require private sector participation under the government's public-private-partnership (PPP) program.

"Yung PPP ngayon for this particular year, mainly qualifies Luzon and hopefully it will also include Visayas but we don't want to be left out of this. We have a list of projects which we think would qualify under the PPP," Del Rosario said.

South Cotabato Representative and Former CONFED Mindanao President Daisy Avance Fuentes also called on Mindanao leaders to proactively participate in local development planning as the Aquino administration wants the identification of programs and projects at the local and regional level.

"We urge CONFED to move fast, make sure that projects identified are karapat dapat, those with economic impact," she added.

Fuentes also pointed out that for an island-region where poverty remains a basic problem, Mindanao should already be getting a fair share of 30 percent from the national budget. "The reason we're not getting any is because we don't have ready proposals on projects that will greatly accelerate the growth of Mindanao," she said.

She then urged CONFED Mindanao to rally behind Mindanao bloc at Congress in pushing for Mindanao's bigger budget starting next year. "Rest assured that there's a new spirit at the House of Representatives as we have been fighting for Mindanao's bigger share," she added.

In his keynote speech, DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero also emphasized that DILG's current thrust for Mindanao is pursuing peace and development by strengthening local institutions.

Panadero said DILG is scaling up various local government programs such as putting up a Performance Challenge Fund to help local income LGUs across the country. The fund, which will be put up next year, can be accessed by LGUs based on merits of good planning, transparency as well as good fiscal and human resource management.

With these emerging opportunities for the LGUs, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Luwalhati Antonino urged local councils to be stronger in their planning activities. "Take out politics, look at the strength of every region, cluster common interest, formulate one tourism package and together promote Mindanao," Antonino said.

In the next CONFED Meeting, the local leaders are expected to discuss key issues on the proposed expansion of Mindanao air linkages and the Mindanao budget.

Del Rosario, was voted at large as the new CONFED Mindanao President, along with North Cotabato Governor Lala Talinio-Mendoza as executive vice president in a re-organizational meeting of CONFED Mindanao held 13 November at Emar's Hotel, Restaurant and Beach Resort, Davao City.

Elected regional vice presidents also include Zamboanga Sibugay Gov. Rommel Jalosjos for region 9, Iligan City Mayor Lawrence Cruz for Region 10, Comval Gov. Arturo Uy for Region 11, South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy for Region 12, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong for ARMM, and Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel for CARAGA region.

Meanwhile, elected members of the board are composed of Kidapawan City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco, Butuan City Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr., Laak Municipal Mayor Reynaldo Navarro, Isulan Municipal Mayor Diosdado Pallasigue, Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr., Panabo City Mayor Jose Silvosa, Ozamis City Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez and Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano.

Established in 1990, CONFED Mindanao is an advocacy group of Mindanao local chief executives which promotes peace and development, nation-building and other pro-Mindanao advocacies.

Among other key issues that have been put forward by CONFED Mindanao are the fast-tracking of ongoing infrastructure projects, advocacy for Situs of Tax, establishing mechanism for local trade exchanges with their EAGA counterparts and the formulation of Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan. (MinDA)

Cabatuan.com - Kasimanwa.com - Austere Panadero

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