Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:00
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), with support from the U.S. Agency forInternational Development through itsGrowth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program and the Philippine Chamber ofCommerce and Industry (PCCI), are holding consultation meetings to identify thepressing issues affecting Mindanao’s economic competitiveness.
USAID through the GEM Program provides assistance to business support organizationsto help them implement development strategies that will improve the competitiveness of major industries in Mindanao.
The broad-based regional consultations were scheduled to take place in ZamboangaCity on April 18 covering the areas of western Mindanao and the AutonomousRegion in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Cagayan de Oro on April 24 for northern and eastern Mindanao; and General Santos City on May 8 for central and southernMindanao.
“These consultations are part of our continuing efforts in policy modification andadvocacy to ensure that Mindanao imperatives in key sectors are addressed bythe national government,” said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Participants will include representatives from chambers of commerce, national governmentagencies, industry and trade associations, and academic institutions.
Issues pertaining to the power, agriculture, mining and transport sectors dominatedlast year’s discussions.
“PCCI local chambers nationwide, through our regional governors and area vicepresidents, provide our national board with inputs with which to formulatenational policy positions,” said PCCI Secretary-General Crisanto Frianeza.
“The Mindanao chambers are privileged to have an able partner in MinDA,” Frianezasaid. “When the chambers come up with policy recommendations, MinDA assists notonly in facilitating discussions but in providing inputs on how these recommendations can be refined.”
Headded: “More importantly, the chambers and the government, through MinDA,readily find common ground and are able to push together for these recommendations.”
“We are working closely with PCCI in pushing for Mindanao-specificpolicies to create an environment conducive to business growth,” said SecretaryAntonino. “We recognize the critical role played by the private sector inaddressing our peace and development imperatives in the region.”
MinDA and PCCI will consolidate the results of this year’s consultations and usethese to formulate the initial draft of a policy agenda for Mindanao.
MinDA will provide the draft policy agenda by early June to concerned Cabinetsecretaries, for them to review with their departments.
The draft will be refined further at high-level roundtable discussions that willserve as a prelude to the 21th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon),which will be held on August 2-4 in Butuan City.
The event will allow cabinet officials and the private sector to focus together onspecific issues and bottlenecks affecting Mindanao’s competitiveness, and todevelop appropriate commitments from government agencies, the businesscommunity and other stakeholders.
“Development,in any area, requires a private-public partnership,” Frianeza said.
The final draft of the Mindanao Business Policy Agenda will be presented to President Benigno Aquino III at the 21st MinBizCon.
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