COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Economic and Development Council’s (BEDC) Economic Development Committee (EDCom) successfully held its second regular meeting on Tuesday, November 17, at MAFAR Conference Room, Bangsamoro Government Center, this city.The meeting was attended by EDCom Chair and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform’s (MAFAR) Minister Mohammad S. Yacob, EDCom Co-Chair and Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority’s (BPDA) Director General Engr. Mohajirin T. Ali, and committee members’ representatives from the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT) with the Bureau of Tourism (BOT), Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE).
Mohammad S. Yacob said that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government aims to put everything in place before the new administration will assume by 2022.“In this transition period, let’s maximize everything to institutionalize the regional government. I hope within 2021, we can finish all the priority programs. Aside from the Admin Code, we can still do so much, even the new offices,” Yacob said.The said meeting highlights the presentation of the ministries’ completed, ongoing and proposed convergence programs and projects in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.MAFAR presented the programs under the Basic Integration of Harmonized Intervention (BInHI), the ministry’s flagship program which includes training on vegetable production and seed distribution.
Further, representatives of the local government units in the BARMM are currently undergoing the training on Community Based Participatory Planning (CBPP).MENRE laid down the ongoing Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBJP) dubbed as “Kayud Ka Bangsamoro (KKB)”, a convergence program with the MAFAR, Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), World Food Programme (WFP) and Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) which aims for the transition of Bangsamoro from being dependent to “ayuda” into promoting a self-reliant, self-sustaining & food secured Bangsamoro.MOST discussed the current activities such as the Inter-Ministry Convergence on Science & Technology Framework, MSMEs Upgrading, Science and Technology Livelihood Assistance Program, Physico-Chemical Laboratories, Microbiological Laboratory, and Halal Testing Laboratory. In addition, Metrology Laboratory and Shelf-Life Laboratory are the proposed projects for year 2021.
The BOT under the MTIT proposed several programs that will boost the tourism industry in the region which include Tourism Master Plan Preparation, Farm Tourism Development, Sun and Beach Tourism Development, Eco-Tourism Development, and Cultural Tourism Development.PSA reported that the total palay production in BARMM increased by 5.70 percent in 2019 to 674,760.55 metric tons (MT) from the 638,396.56 MT production in the previous year. More than half or 71.24 percent of palay in the region during this period was produced in Maguindanao, while 28.16 percent was produced in Lanao del Sur. The remaining less than one percent was produced by Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.Bangsamoro Director General Engr. Mohajirin T. Ali emphasized that the ministries should fast track the hiring of personnel.“I asked the other agencies and I just learned that some of these offices already hired their planning officers. I am looking forward for those planning officers of the various ministries to be put in place so we can have permanency in this committee.
We find it hard that the person who attends keeps on changing in every conduct of our meetings,” Ali stressed.The deadline of submission of the final list of permanent and alternate focal representatives to the committee was set on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Meanwhile, the EDCom is one of the sectoral committees that will assist the BEDC in the performance of its mandate powers and functions. (BPDA-BARMM)