Press Release
June 7, 2009

Emphasizing the need for a holistic development

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today pitched in for economic and social development of southern Philippine area by proposing an institution that will ensure that their development agenda are integrated in the national priorities.

"Mindanao needs a Mindanao-wide agency that sees through implementation of its transformation process, one that looks beyond the regions and integrates all development efforts at a Mindanao-wide level," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

He added "In the past decades, development planning and development interventions in Mindanao were implemented in a fragmented manner. During that time, disintegrated and highly uneven development enveloped Mindanao as each region competed for scarce resources coming from Manila instead of complementing each other's economic strengths. Mindanao was also seen in the past as a mere supplier of food and raw materials to the factories and burgeoning cities of Manila and Cebu".

Despite somewhat sustained economic growth and GDP rate, growing economic inequalities continue to fly around Mindanao. The continuing conflict in the southern part of the Philippines sadly hasn't been resolved resulting in lost of lives of many Filipinos and slow progression of Mindanao. Despite governments effort it fails to set peace in its own land. This holds Mindanao from reaching its full potential for development.

According to 2006 statistics - released in 2008 - from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Mindanao is still the poorest of the three island groups in the country. It registered the highest poverty and subsistence incidence among the country's major island groups with its poverty incidence that reached 38.8 percent compared to lower poverty incidence rates in Luzon (20 percent) and the Visayas (33 percent).

Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA) will advance economic and development growth in Mindanao by integrating, promoting, coordinating, and facilitating the active participation of all the stakeholders will contribute to its development.

"MEDA will provide a holistic approach that will develop Mindanao far more effective than the traditionally national gov't led and region centric approach," added Angara.

Angara emphasized that this kind of institution will ensure that Mindanao's agenda will be within national priority and objectives.

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