DAVAO CITY—The Local Government Units Summit on Governance and Development held in February 11-12, 2014 at Waterfront Insular Hotel, Davao City could be the last LGU summit under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
This might be the last Local Government Units Summit that we will have in the region,” Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said in his message. Officials echoed that this was in view of the current developments in the peace process and in anticipation for the establishment of a new political entity that will replace the ARMM.
But RG Hataman also stressed that the summit was the first of its kind in the ARMM, where municipal mayors were openly consulted on determining projects for consideration in the programming of the Annual Infrastructure Fund for 2015.
With the theme “Strengthening Regional Stakeholders’ Partnership towards Revitalized ARMM in transition to Bangsamoro” the summit was organized by the Office of the Regional Governor in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Regional Planning and Development Office.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, who attended the event, underscored ARMM reforms and accomplishments having been in place or achieved under Governor Hataman. He specifically cited the good turnout of the barangay election last October 2013, the growing economy of the region, improvement in revenue collection, health and social welfare related program accomplishments and ghost-busting initiatives of the ARMM leadership.
RG Hataman thanked the President for his trust and full support to the ARMM. He said that he did not fail the president with his promise of reforming the ARMM. “Lahat po ng pondo na ibinuhos ng national government sa ARMM ay klarong klarong andiyan sa aming website, he said. RG Hataman cited some accomplishments of the ARMM on the implementation of reform measures particularly in the Department of Public Works and Highways.
For DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, the summit was also a close-encounter among national and local officials—among them, provincial governors, municipal mayors, and their provincial municipal planning and development coordinators, who also attended the important event.
Secretary Roxas said these officials are bound by stronger working cooperation to ensure they attained a common vision for the ARMM which constitutes “Kasaganaan,” “Kapayapaan” at “Magandang Bukas para sa ARMM” in his own words.
DILG-ARMM Secretary Anwar Malang said LGUs prior nominated for excellence in governance were also awarded with the Seal of Good Housekeeping and the Performance Challenge Fund amounting to one million pesos. These were the municipalities of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Parang, Sultan Mastura, all in Maguindanao and municipality of Ganassi in Lanao del Sur.
He said this was followed by awarding of the checks amounting to five million pesos to the provincial governors of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan for the construction of women peace centers.
ARMM Congressional Representatives Bai Sanda S. Sema (Maguindanao with Cotabato City), Congressman Munir Arbison (Sulu), Princess Djalia Turabin-Hataman (Anak Mindanao), Ruby Sahali (Tawi-Tawi) also attended.
Hataman said he was being overwhelmed by the attendance and support expressed by the local chief executives and other officials during the summit.
Commissioner Atty. Mehol Sadain gave updates on National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) programs/projects, while Executive Director Janet Lopoz of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) enlightened the ARMM stakeholders on MinDA programs and projects. Atty. Laisa M. Alamia, ARMM Executive Secretary presented the ARMM Thrust and Direction highlighting the regional spatial strategy and on-going programs/projects in the region.
The workshop also delved on identifying priority programs/projects by district covering four priority sectors: a) Development Administration, b) Economic Development, c) Social Development, and d) Infrastructure Development in the first day.
On the second day, the One-Local Government Unit-One Good Governance Initiative (1LGU-1GGI) was launched. A ceremonial signing of agreements was also held on the Bottom-Up Budgeting and awarding of checks to recipient LGUs.
The Disaster Risk Reduction Management Summit was the main menu of the afternoon events during the second day of the summit. (MMI of RPDO-ARMM)