COTABATO CITY (Jan. 24, 2014)—Moro Planners in government and the private sector have expressed support to framing of a Bangsamoro Basic Law by preparing integrated development plan for the new political entity seen to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Lawyer Laisa Masuhud Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, her meeting with representatives of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) on January 24 started a bilateral cooperation on the crafting of a Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) to help chart the course for a Bangsamoro government, which would replace the ARMM by 2016.
In this way, she said, the BDA acknowledged the need for the formulation of a BDP “to prepare for the challenges and respond to urgent priorities in the establishment of the Bangsamoro government by 2016.”
ES Alamia led ARMM Cabinet members in an interface with the BDA team in last Friday meeting at the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) Conference Room.
Dr. Saffrullah M. Dipatuan, BDA Chairman who headed his team, said the BDP is currently being formulated with the support of consultants from the World Bank (WB) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). WB and OPAPP officials were also present during the meeting.
A six-year BDP will contain a medium- and long-term plan for the recovery and development of Bangsamoro communities.
Even during the interface meeting the BDA team had already presented to ARMM officials a draft copy of the BDP framework as well as subsequent activities set to finally come up with a BDP.
ES Alamia expressed support in behalf of the ARMM government to efforts at crafting the BDP. She said this would be part of the autonomous regional government’s technical preparation for ARMM transition to a Bangramoro government.
Dir. Baintan Adil-Ampatuan presented the ARMM Regional Development Plan Midterm Update for added inputs to the BDP formulation. She explained that the RDP Midterm Update is a “3 in 1 document” consisting of the regional development plan for 2014-2016; the ARMM Strategic Convergence Plan and the Regional Spatial Strategy.
An open forum took place where BDA and ARMM officials clarified some concerns on the BDP formulation. Among the questions raised pertains to the phasing of the planning period, participation of major agencies of the ARMM in the BDP formulation, as well as the strengthening of LGUs’ structural links with the ministerial form of government being proposed by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.
Dr. Dipatuan also acknowledged the need to consider in the BDP preparation the development gains of the ARMM, especially the ongoing programs/projects being implemented in the region.
He further clarified some misconception pertaining to establishing a new political entity and affirmed the importance of pursuing strong advocacy on community awareness to correct misconceptions and avoid too much expectation on the FAB.
The meeting opened the door for consultation on the BDP formulation and future collaboration and engagement of the ARMM government with the BDA in designing the development direction of the Bangsamoro government which is much hoped to be finally established in this part of Southern Philippines. (MMI of RPDO-ARMM)