Thursday, January 21, 2010

Planning body refreshes ARMM dev’t direction

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Line departments and offices of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ended Thursday their three-day strategic planning workshop, drafting a two-year development package aimed at bringing the impoverished ARMM communities to greater heights.

Some 70 heads and technical personnel of the ARMM’s agencies and offices threshed out problems besetting the region and proposed the corresponding solutions in three successive days of deliberations attended personally by acting Regional Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong.

The two-year development plan, which has been collated from the proposals of participating departments and bureaus, will be tackled further for adoption by the Regional Economic and Development Planning Board (REDPB), the ARMM’s highest policy-making body chaired by Adiong.

The REDPB, which opens Friday their two-day meeting at the same venue here, is composed of the governors of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the mayors of Marawi and Lamitan cities and the tops officials of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly.

At the opening of the preceding workshop Tuesday, Adiong addressed the participants, citing among others funding supports from national and foreign sources now in the pipeline that include a $30-million package earmarked by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank.

In his brief speech, Adiong said the national and foreign-funded development projects will be proportionately spread across the ARMM component areas to meet the social, economic, infrastructure and peace and order concerns of the target areas.

“Let us pursue our development thrusts and address squarely the grey areas under the principle of transparent, consultative and moral governance,” Adiong said.

Adiong joined the seminar and exchanged ideas with the participants in their respective tables.

Malacanang through Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno installed to office Adiong last December 14 in lieu of ARMM Governor Zaldy Ampatuan, who has been suspended and detained in connection with the Nov. 23 massacre in Maguindanao of 57 people including 31 journalists.

Over the weekend, Sulu Governor Sakur Tan and Tawi-Tawi vice Governor Ruby Sahali-Tan expressed their cooperation with the new ARMM leadership, saying they were optimistic that Adiong would be able to “achieve reforms in the regional bureaucracy and deliver better services to the populace.” (Ali Macabalang)

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