MANILA — The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Thursday launched its development blueprint that aims to attract more investments and accelerate infrastructure development crucial in boosting economic growth in the region over the next six years.
ARMM’s Regional Development Plan (RDP) 2017-2022 targets to increase the region’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) from 0.3 percent in 2016 to 5.25 percent in 2022; and reduce poverty incidence from 48.2 percent in 2015 to 33.2 percent in 2022.
Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Executive Director of the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) Regional Planning and Development Office-ARMM, said local government units (LGUs) have committed PHP4-billion projects for the region that are aligned with the RDP and support socioeconomic agenda of the Duterte administration.
In an interview at the sidelines of partners’ forum on ARMM-RDP, Ampatuan said aggregate investments into the region also reached PHP17 billion from 2012 to 2017.
“Investments continue to pour in despite the problem in peace and security. (This can be attributed to) the effort of national government, the continuing peace process. And other investors consider this as their social contribution in the area,” she said.
ARMM Executive Director Atty. Laisa Masuhud-Alamia said more companies are investing in ARMM despite security concerns.
“We continue to invite investors so that we can improve the lives of the people in the area,” she said.
Alamia said the RDP is expanding economic opportunities in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries, saying agricultural products are “niche” of the region.
NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion Navarro said “if we will be able to attract more investors in the region then definitely, we will be able to generate economic activities –business-related activities and even projects that will produce public goods and services. That will improve the GRDP of the region.”
The development blueprint also targets to accelerate human capital development; access of ARMM communities to basic services; ensure an open, transparent, accountable and inclusive governance; and attain just and lasting peace, among others.
Navarro urged local government players to participate in RDP’s implementation.
“When they received the funding, then they must implement projects… NEDA is willing to help them in the localization (of the plan). It is something that we did for the other regions –the localization of the RDPs in Cordillera Administration Region, Ilocos Region up to the Caraga Region,” she added. (PNA)