PGMA swears in Dureza as new MinDA chair

March 8, 2010 11:57 pm 

MANILA, March 8 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Monday swore into office presidential adviser on Mindanao Jesus Dureza as chair of the newly-created Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in ceremonies at Malacañang’s Ceremonial Hall.

MinDA was created under Republic Act 9996 which President Arroyo signed into law last February 17, ending five decades of wait for the establishment of a permanent body that would integrate peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

It strengthens the existing Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), which Dureza headed during the Ramos administration.

Under the MinDA Law, the chairperson serves a fixed term of six years.

Aside from his role as MinDA chair, Dureza also serves as the Philippine senior official to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and sits as an ex officio member of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TEZA) Board.

Before his latest appointment, Dureza held a broad range of responsibility, including taking decisive role in addressing critical issues on peace and development, especially those that require immediate Presidential intervention.

He also led efforts to accelerate development in southern Philippines, and ensured sustained coordination of key national agencies, Local Government Units and the donor community, in the implementation and monitoring of vital government programs and projects throughout Mindanao.

He is among the very few Cabinet members under the Arroyo administration who held different key Cabinet positions since 2001.

Dureza has served as Presidential Assistant for Mindanao and concurrent Chair of the Mindanao Economic Development Council, Chair of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Press Secretary and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

Backed by his wealth of experience in foreign relations and diplomacy, Dureza is part of an influential international pool of experts holding roundtable fora on various global concerns.

He has served twice as congressman of the 1st district of Davao City from 1987 to 1989, and from 1992 to 1995. During those terms (7th and 9th Congress of the Philippines), he served as the official spokesperson of the House of Representatives.

Dureza graduated cum laude at the Ateneo de Davao University, and placed 10th in the 1973 Philippine Bar Exams.

He also received distinct citations that include Datu Bago Award (highest award given to a Dabawenyo) and the Presidential Award of Merit from then President Fidel Ramos. (PNA)

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