COTABATO CITY – “We have no good plan if we have no accurate data,” said lawyer Anwar Malang, Interior and Local Governments secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DILG-ARMM) said.
Malang, who also chairs the Regional Development Administration Committee (RDAC), stressed that one real problem in crafting plans is the baseline data. “Many people are questioning our data”, he added. “However, we cannot explain to them the reason why, because we are not the one doing the census”, he added.
The Regional Planning and Development Office as the technical secretariat of Regional Economic and Development Planning Board (REDPB) coordinates with the DILG-ARMM, and hosted a meeting with members of the RDAC at the RPDO Conference Room, RPDO-ARMM Bldg., here on January 14, 2014.
The meeting aims to finalize the ARMM Regional Development Plan Midterm Update, 2014-2016 and its accompanying RDIP, the blueprint of the region’s reform agenda under the Hataman administration. It would also pave the way for the autonomous regional government to transition to the proposed Bangsamoro government.
Malang also emphasized that population has the biggest impact on the political leadership of the ARMM, hence, a need to have “real population baseline data.”
Engr. Mlang Utto Madal, Assistant Regional Director of RPDO-ARMM, said that the REDPB should formulate a policy with which to concur into population data as essential tool in planning.
RPDO Executive Director Baintan Adil-Ampatuan explained that RPDO wants to use uniform baseline data in a given fiscal year. However, the frequency in data generation has made a difference. For instance, population census is conducted only once in five years; poverty Incidence is determined every three years, while some data are generated annually.
Melanie Mampen-Indar, Chief of MICAD-RPDO, explained that RPDO abides by the rule of the Philippine Statistical System (PSS). “As long as we cite the official data, there is no problem in the data we cited in the RDP”, she stressed.
Member-agencies of the RDAC represented in the meeting and the RPDO serving as secretariat come up with the final draft of RDP Midterm Update, 2014-2016, as well as the Results Matrices and RDIP as the major outputs of the activity.
The RDAC is one of the four committees of the REDPB tasked with functions and related concerns on governance and administration, as well as on peace, security and transition to Bangsamoro, one of the Hataman administration’s key agenda. (NMH of RPDO-ARMM)