ARMM policymakers fine-tune devt plans for key reforms

February 26, 2012 10:28 am 

COTABATO CITY, Feb. 25 – Policymakers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are now in the process of fine-tuning development plans to make way for the key reforms being set up by Acting Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman.

Diamadel Dumagay, executive director of the Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO)-ARMM, said officials and chief planning officers of different ARMM agencies convened in a two-day workshop at the start of this week to set out on the formulation of an action plan aimed at introducing open governance and reforms in the region.

Dumagay said the plans should be attuned to the three areas of reform that the present caretaker ARMM administration have been tasked to attain namely on governance, peace and security, and economic reforms.

Dumagay urged policymakers to make their targets attainable within the limited time frame, emphasizing the current leadership has a little more than one year to institute reforms.

The caretaker government of Hataman has at least 14 remaining months to institute needed reforms in the ARMM, Dumagay said.

“We are confident that the present regional government can perform the mandated reforms by the President,” he said.

Lawyer Anwar Malang, ARMM executive secretary, said that with the right platform and agenda at hand, “the best time to reform ARMM is now." <P>He urged participants during the start of the workshop to help make a difference and do their share to uplift ARMM.

“We must all make sure that the plans we formulate truly address the needs of our people,” Malang said, stressing that President Aquino has entrusted the badly needed reforms in ARMM to the current ARMM leadership, limited its time may be.

He said thru convergence and clustering of efforts, agencies have better chance of attaining targets within the limited timeframe.

Malang said they want to make it a point that individual agency efforts would be complementary to each other.

Citing encouraging developments in the ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Malang said the programs of present ARMM leadership are congruent and supportive to the peace process.

He underscored the need to establish meaningful reforms in ARMM to complement progress in the peace efforts in Mindanao.

The plan that will be formulated in the two-day workshop, dubbed the ARMM Strategic Action Plan for Governance and Reform, shall serve as the guideline of introducing actual reforms in ARMM.

Economic specialist and former director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Cielito Habito, who also led the crafting of the Mindanao 2020 plan, lauded what according to him are good plans that ARMM agencies have but cited lapses in their implementation.

Habito told regional planners to take the challenge of the Hataman administration’s interim 15 months to institute reforms, urging them to arrive at a short-term agenda achievable within the timeframe but “still contextualize the longer-term pursuits”.

He added that plans must also be widely owned by the people as major stakeholders to ensure its sustainability. (PNA)

RSV/NYP/EOF

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