Bangsamoro development plan launched in Davao City

By Judy G. Quiros

DAVAO CITY, March 5 (PNA) — The peace process between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) took another step forward Wednesday when the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) was formally launched at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here.

Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) chairman and BDP Project Steering Committee chairman, said the BDP will set the economic direction of the Bangsamoro, the new political entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“The BDP will identify investments and programs to promote inclusive growth, stability and help create jobs in the Bangsamoro from 2014 to 2020,” Dipatuan said at the launching.

BDP core planning team leader Windel Diangcalan said they are targeting to finish the draft of the BDP by the end of May this year.

He said the BDP is a six-year development plan with two phases covering 2014-2019. Phase 1 will cover the transitional development plan and smooth transition from the current ARMM to the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and Phase 2 will deal with the medium term development plan from 2016 to 2019.

“It is on the second phase where investments will be identified,” he said.

Dipatuan said the development plan will reflect the goals of the Bangsamoro people, indigenous people and other sectors in Mindanao.

He assured that not only the interest of the MILF and Bangsamoro people will be the basis of the BDP but will also include the interests and needs of the other sectors in Mindanao particularly the indigenous people.

“We are not only getting inputs from Bangsamoro but also from IPs (Indigenous Peoples) and other settler communities included in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) to achieve an inclusive growth for the Bangsamoro,” Dipatuan said.

The planning process for the formulation of the BDP is supported by the national government.

GPH peace panel member Undersecretary Yasmin Busran-Lao said the principle of including the needs and interests of the indigenous people in the BDP is embodied and signed in all the four annexes in the agreement.

Meanwhile, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP) Undersecretary Luisito Montalbo said, “there is a need to capture the sentiments of the beneficiary communities in the plan, making sure that the process and final output is as transparent and inclusive as possible the plan needs to make sure no one is left behind”.

Dipatuan, however, said the investments will only be identified upon the completion of the BDP as these should address the needs of the beneficiaries.

He also clarified that the implementation of the investments and development projects will only commence once a final peace agreement is achieved. (PNA)