COTABATO CITY (NOVEMBER 4, 2020) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government launched here on Thursday its first Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), marking another major milestone in the Bangsamoro peace process.
“Despite the unfortunate circumstances brought by the pandemic, I am extremely optimistic that the BDP 2020-2022 will help the Government of the Day in materializing our shared hopes and aspirations for the Bangsamoro,” said BARMM Chief Minister and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ Balawag Ebrahim said during the launching ceremony.
“We wish to begin a culture that gives the investors, the constituents and other significant partners trust with the regional government. We wish to create an environment that promotes people-centered policies and programs,” Ebrahim added.
Composed of 13 chapters, the BARMM’s BDP is aligned and consistent with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the country’s economic and development blueprint. It articulates the overall socio-economic direction of the BARMM from 2020 to 2022 and beyond.
The eighty development goals identified in the BDP aim to: 1) to establish the foundations for inclusive, transparent, accountable, and efficient governance; 2) to uphold peace, security, public order and safety, and respect for human rights; 3) to create a favorable enabling environment for inclusive and sustainable economic development; 4) to promote Bangsamoro identity, cultures, and diversity; 5) to ensure access to and delivery of quality services for human capital development; 6) to harness technology and innovations to increase socio-economic opportunities and improve government services; 7) to increase strategic and climate-resilient infrastructure to support sustainable socioeconomic development in the Bangsamoro Region; and 8) to improve ecological integrity, and promote and enhance climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction to sustain resilience of communities in the Bangsamoro.
Nat’l government’s continued support to the Bangsamoro government
BARMM Executive Secretary, Minister Abdulrauf Macacua praised the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) under the leadership of Director General Mohajirin Ali for spearheading the formulation of the plan, saying it is “a step to achieve your desired goals. Goal without a plan is just a wish.”
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), represented by Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla said “the NEDA along with the entire national government is fully committed to support all implementation of BDP, as well as the successful transition of the region to a developed Bangsamoro.”
“We are committed to work with you every step of the way, not only for the Bangsamoro but for the entire country,” Sombilla added. The NEDA is the BPDA’s counterpart in the national government and as such, provided the latter with technical advice in the crafting of its BDP.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), represented by its Chief of Staff and Spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Atty. Wilben M. Mayor, delivered Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr’s congratulatory message for the BARMM government.
“Our hats off to the BARMM government, to the Bangsamoro Parliament, to the Bangsamoro Economic and Development Council, and the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority for the hard work, dedication and determination you have shown as you fulfill your crucial mandate,” Galvez said.
He noted despite difficulties the BARMM government faced in the crafting of the BDP, it continued to forge ahead and complete the formulation of the plan.
“We know that things have not been easy for the past two years. You had to confront many challenges during the transition process. But these trials did not stop you from achieving your goals,” Galvez said.
According to the peace adviser, the BDP “also signifies the commitments you have made under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).”
Galvez also pointed out that The GPH and the MILF, through its Joint Task Forces on Camps Transformation (JTFCT), are also about to complete the crafting of Camps Transformation Plans (CTPs) for all government-acknowledged MILF – Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) camps.
“These CTPs are anchored on the BDP to ensure that these once conflict-affected areas are transformed into peaceful and productive communities,” he said.
Int’l peace partners pledge commitment to Bangsamoro government, peace process
Representatives of international donor agencies — European Union(EU), Australian Embassy, International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), The Asia Foundation (TAF), Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) and United States AID (USAID) — who took part in the BDP’s virtual launch likewise commended the BARMM government for coming up with its own BDP, as they reaffirmed their continued commitment to support the region’s development.
“It is important to have an inclusive approach and to bring in all stakeholders. We will continue supporting the Bangsamoro region for years to come. You can rely on us and we will remain with you over the next years,” said Christoph Wagner of the EU.
Sheona McKena of the Australian Embassy said the BDP “outlines a clear plan for inclusive work in the region,” they are delighted to see that “the Bangsamoro Government has recognized the protection of the most vulnerable sectors.”
On behalf of the United Nations and the IOM, Kristin Dadey congratulated the Bangsamoro government, pointing out the BDP “ outlines the needs and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people, and it is a powerful driver of sustainable development for communities.”
“We know that this will be a contribution not only in governance in Bangsamoro but especially to the peace process. All of these have been because of the gains of the peace process for the Bangsamoro and that is something that we continue to strive the gains of,” said Iona Gracia Jaijali, country representative of CHD.
Also among those who expressed their support to the Bangsamoro Government were Rena Dona, assistant representative of UN Population Fund; Eigo Azukizawa, chief representative of JICA; and Sam Chittick, country representative of TAF.
Other BARMM officials who were present during the launch were Bangsamoro Parliament speaker Atty. Pangalian M. Balindong, Sr., Development Academy of the Bangsamoro (DAB) President Norodin Salam, Minister of Interior and Local Government Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM cabinet secretary Mohd Asnin Pendatun, and representatives from different BARMM ministries and offices. ###