RG Hataman keeps doors open to foreign donors; UN agencies
INTERNATIONAL donor-organizations including United Nations humanitarian agencies are giving peace recovery efforts a hard push in Muslim Mindanao, despite intermittent peace situation in recent incidents of violence, officials said.
Governor Mujiv S. Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said amid some foreign missions’ advisory against their citizens’ travel to some parts of Mindanao, he met representatives of various international organizations in Makati City last Ramadan.
And rain or shine, the governor said, the conduits of development dialogues would have to be sustainably at work, even if it was equally unsafe to be travelling by air to and from the north, because of meteorologically monitored low-pressure atmospheric areas turning typhoons.
Nevertheless, Governor Hataman said, this activity was the first of its kind where the regional government had interface with partners for a sustained strategic partnership through a cluster convergence approach.
Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia, said the strategic partners’ meeting provided a venue of opportunity for the Hataman administration to present a two-year ARMM Convergence Strategic Plan (2013-2015) in preparing the ARMM for smooth transition to a Bangsamoro entity in 2015.
Engineer Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, the executive director of the ARMM Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) said the meetings promptly drew encouraging responses from the potential partners, and the USAID along with the UN-attached agencies were among the first to express confidence on strengthening development partnership ties with the ARMM under the leadership of Governor Hataman.
Dubbed Strategic Partners Meeting, the two-day forum at the ARMM Manila Liaison Office on August 5 and 6, was attended on the first day by representatives of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member-countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, Egypt and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Atty. Alamia said.
Atty. Alamia said that the strategic plan was primarily conceived to prepare the ARMM for smooth transition to the Bangsamoro by 2015. She assured that the programs and projects presented by the regional leadership would have the impact of “community-felt doable undertakings.”
She said the second and third rounds of the partnership meeting series were held August 6, 2013 with international civil society organizations, including The British OXFAM and The Asia Foundation-Philippines, as well as representatives of UN-humanitarian and attached agencies— UNDP, UNICEF, UN-WFP, UN-OCHA, UNHCR, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, IOM —and corporate executives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Atty. Alamia, who presented the ARMM Convergence Strategic Plan 2013-2015 at the partnership meeting-series, emphasized that plans and programs are focused on five thematic areas, namely: Cluster 1: Good Governance and Anti-corruption; Cluster 2: Security, Justice, Peace and Transition to the Bangsamoro; Cluster 3: Economic Growth and Linkages; Cluster 4: Human Development and Poverty Reduction; and Cluster 5: Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response.
She said it was the ARMM officials’ turn in the afternoon session to discuss the region’s development programs, projects and initiatives with representatives of the United States Agency for International Development; the Australian Aid for International Development, and the European Union; the Japanese Ambassador, as well as development attachés and diplomats from the Embassies of New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and Spain.
“Strategic partnership with some of the mentioned institutions are to be forged as a result of this partnership meeting, while other agencies (committed to) strengthen partnership or align their programs with the current thrusts of the Autonomous Regional Government,” Engineer Adil-Ampatuan said in a press statement.
Atty. Alamia said the ARMM Convergence Plan for 2013-2015 followed a recent ARMM Cabinet Cluster Strategic Planning Workshop held in Tagaytay City last July 19-21, 2013.
The ARMM’s contingent of top executives was in full-force of attendance with Governor Hataman, Atty. Alamia and Engineer Adil-Ampatuan, as well as the presence of other ARMM Cabinet members— Secretary Anwar Malang (DILG); Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding (DOH); Secretary Jamar Kulayan (DepEd), Secretary Emil Sadain (DPWH); Chairperson Atty. Ishak Mastura (RBOI), and Manila Liaison Office Chief Jolly Lais.
Atty. Alamia added that the regional line agencies will continue to implement their regular programs and projects other than those identified or presented in the ARMM Convergence Strategic Plan, 2013-2015. (MMI of RPDO with NBM)