The Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors’ Leagues Presidents of Mindanao (Confed-Mindanao) recently reconvened and endorsed the Mindanao Development Corridors program as a key strategy that will help the island-region achieve connectivity and enhance its global competitiveness.
At the recent membership meeting, newly-elected Confed President Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel led the promulgation of a resolution supporting the Mindanao Development Corridors, saying that “it is crucial for Local Government Units (LGUs) to adopt the corridors program as a means to ensure that localities are ready to assimilate in anticipation for the ASEAN integration in 2015.”
He added that it is high time for Confed members to start re-evaluating plans, programs, and projects to ensure that these are geared towards preparing Mindanao for the imminent integration in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), through the Mindanao Peace and Development Framework Plan or the Mindanao 2020, adopts the Mindanao Development Corridors as a key spatial strategy aimed to improve infrastructure, establish connectivity, and spur the development of growth clusters within the island-region, allowing it to achieve balanced and inclusive growth among its regions.
“This strategy will transcend regional boundaries in terms of commodity transfer which will make regions in Mindanao commercially viable,” MinDA Chair Luwalhati Antonino told Mindanao local chief executives at the meeting.
She added that the initiative also aims to position Mindanao as a single, integrated economy that is able to leverage and fully participate in economic groupings such as the BIMP-EAGA, ASEAN, and the rest of the global economic communities.
“Since our last meeting in 2012, we have moved ever closer to ASEAN economic integration. That is why we are rolling out the Mindanao Development Corridors to help us maximize Mindanao’s potentials into this economic cooperation,” said Antonino.
She stressed that Confed-Mindanao’s cooperation is crucial to achieving the Mindanao 2020’s goals and objectives, particularly in pushing for meaningful governance strategies.
“Our LGUs know their territory better, which make them among our strongest allies in Mindanao’s development planning and in integrating the corridors initiative,” said Antonino.
Pimentel said that members of Confed-Mindanao will exert all efforts needed to assume the role as ‘Mindanao’s voice’ particularly in terms of infrastructure development and national budget allocation.
Established in 1990, Confed-Mindanao is an advocacy group of Mindanao local chief executives which pursues peace and development, nation-building, and other initiatives that promote the Mindanao agenda.
The organization has been instrumental in creating major progresses in the island-region, specifically in the areas of power and infrastructure, connectivity, disaster risk and reduction, and in increasing Mindanao’s share in the national budget.
Pimentel is the first Confed-Mindanao president who hailed from CARAGA region. Outgoing President Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario sits as one of the confederation’s Board of Directors.