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ARMM’S local leaders vow commitment to region’s development programs

Lanao del Sur Vice Governor Mamintal A. Adiong Jr. leads almost all but a couple of chief executives of the province' municipalities now posing for a souvenir with President Duterte
Davao City (November 30, 2016) – Local government officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) vowed full commitment to the region’s development programs.

Comprising of 116 municipal mayors, two city mayors, planning officers, five provincial governors and members of the ARMM legislative assembly, the region’s officials are at the SM Lanang Premier’s SMX Convention Center in Davao City on Wednesday for a two-day Local Government Unit (LGU) Summit.

Carrying the theme “Pagkamulat, Pagbabago at Pag-unlad”, the event is aimed at upscaling local government performance and determining the state of the region’s local development and governance.

Davao City councilor Halila Sudagar, representing city mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio, encouraged the participants to create a positive change in the development of communities in the region.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman opened the summit by speaking of the changes in the region during the past four years. Gov. Hataman reiterated that ARMM, for more than two decades, has been left behind by progress.

“Because of stronger LGU and regional government partnership, we changed the negative perception in the ARMM,” Mayor Arcam Istarul of Tipo-Tipo, Basilan said. Mayor Istarul is a newly elected local chief executive.

“Ang dami kong nakuha from the summit, sobrang nakaka-inspire ang pagbabagong naganap sa ARMM. It actually boosted my desire na lalo pang galingan ang pagbibigay ng serbisyo sa aking bayan,” Mayor Istarul said noting he is now working to achieve for his town the Seal of Good Local Governance.

“Binago natin sa loob ng apat na taon ang negatibong imahe ng ARMM,” Gov. Hataman said. This year alone, there are already six Seal of Good Local Governance awardees in the region.

“Patunayan natin na ang ARMM sa nakaraang dalawang dekada ay iba na ngayon,” the governor said as he challenged the local government units to also pass the Seal of Good Housekeeping. Over 50% of the towns in the region have earned the Seal of Good Housekeeping.

During his speech, Secretary Ismael Sueno of the Department of the Interior Local Government described the summit as a gathering of ARMM LGU heads to discuss solutions to challenges facing the region. “Let us all erase those negative perceptions in the region, ipakita natin na kaya din mamuno ng ARMM,” Sec. Sueno said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, when he visited the ARMM’s seat recently, said he will personally attend to the needs of the region and that he will improve the Moro land.

“Matindi ang passion ni President Duterte sa ARMM,” Secretary Sueno said.

Atty. Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, discussed the region’s development framework. She also told the participants that the programs should go down to the grassroots level.

“Before 2012, the ARMM faced many difficulties. The region was tagged as the election cheating capital of the country, no monitoring of projects, no program funds, and palakasan system in the hiring of employees,” Atty. Alamia said.

Hery Siraji, municipal planning and development coordinator of Luuk town in Sulu, said that the summit inspires every participant to strive and continue to work for the development of the communities in the region.

On Wednesday afternoon, the participants held a dialogue with national government agencies. “I hope this summit will be a successful one and after we fully implement the projects and programs for the people in the region, ARMM will (no longer be) the poorest region,” Secretary Sueno said. 

(Bureau of Public Information)
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