Bong Go advocates for more inclusive socio-economic and infrastructure development in Mindanao during MinDA meeting in Davao City

Bong Go advocates for more inclusive socio-economic and infrastructure development in Mindanao during MinDA meeting in Davao City

DURING the recent Board of Directors meeting of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on Friday, February 16, in SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, serving as an ex officio member representing the Senate, voiced his strong support for initiatives aimed at fostering accelerated socio-economic and infrastructure development in Mindanao.

His remarks underscored the essential role of MinDA in leading collaborative efforts to usher in sustainable and more inclusive development for the residents of Mindanao.

Go, hailing from Davao City and a steadfast advocate for Mindanao’s advancement, shared insights into the equitable focus of development projects during the tenure of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

He reflected, “Gusto ko lang pong ikwento sa inyo as taga-Davao, taga-Mindanao. Noong panahon ni Pangulong Duterte kahit na taga-Davao siya, taga-Mindanao siya… alam n’yo una niyang ipinagbilin, sabi niya gusto ko pantay-pantay ang lahat. Sabi niya ‘Gusto ko lahat ng proyekto (sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ay) ay pantay-pantay at walang maiiwan.’ Dahil para sa kanya, tayo po’y Pilipino lahat,” he added.

Go then underscored key MinDA initiatives to promote infrastructure development and inclusive growth throughout the region, such as the Mindanao Development Corridors Joint Planning and Programming Session for Roads, Bridges, and Flood Control, as well as the comprehensive Mindanao Peace and Development Program.

He also praised the VolunTurismo Project, which aimed to revitalize Dinagat and Siargao Islands and generate employment in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Highlighting MINDA’s partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines, Go also lauded the Mindanao Water Supply Program in providing essential water resources for consumption and irrigation, improving the lives of residents in remote communities.

The senator also underscored his efforts as Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, alongside Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, to secure additional budget for MinDA this year for the agency’s digitalization efforts and for its Strengthening of the Indigenous People in Mindanao (STIP-Mindanao) Program.

“We have pushed for additional funding for the digitalization of the agency. We also pushed for the inclusion of a budget for Strengthening the Indigenous People in Mindanao Program,” Go mentioned.

MinDa Secretary Maria Belen Acosta also noted, “Sa tulong ni Senator Bong Go at mga Mindanaoan senators, lahat po sila ay nagkaisa para matulungan ang Mindanao Development Authority para mas lalo pang matulungan ang Mindanao. PhP100 million ang naidagdag sa aming annual budget.”

“Dahil mahal po ni Senator Bong Go ang Mindanao at ayaw niya maiwanan ang mga IP o indigenous peoples ng Mindanao, nagdagdag pa siya ng budget para sa STIP o yung tinatawag natin na Strengthening Indigenous People in Mindanao,” she added.

In addition to championing MinDA initiatives, Go highlighted infrastructure development projects he pushed and advocated for across Mindanao. These include constructing the Center for the Advancement of Research in Mindanao in the University of the Philippines – Davao City, as well as various multipurpose buildings, sports complexes, parks, public markets, and public terminals in various localities.

To improve public service delivery, he also supported the construction of the National Commission of Senior Citizens building in General Santos City, the Balay Dangupan and Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office building in Davao City, and the Cooperative Development Authority building and the Department of Justice National Prosecution Office Regional Office building in Marawi City.

Go also reiterated the Duterte administration’s Build Build Build program which included the Panguil Bay Bridge project, that will be Mindanao’s longest bridge.

In terms of legislative support, Go highlighted his role as co-sponsor and one of the authors of the law creating the Metropolitan Davao Development Authority through RA 11708, stressing the importance of structured governance and development planning for Davao and its surrounding areas.

“Further, as one of the authors of RA 11708, masaya po ako na naisabatas na po itong Metropolitan Davao Development Authority. I also urge the agency to ensure the successful establishment, kayo po ang mangunguna rito to address the growing needs of Davao City and nearby areas through various public services,” he appealed.

Go then emphasized the collective responsibility towards the supporting the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area), a key component in strengthening regional cooperation and ensuring economic growth reaches even the most remote communities in Southern Philippines.

Go then laid out his commitment for sustained development in Mindanao. He stressed the importance of continued support from various sectors, including local governments, to bolster Mindanao’s economy and ensure that the fruits of development are equitably shared.

“Kasama ang MinDA, mga lokal na pamahalaan, at iba’t ibang sektor na nakasentro sa pagpapaunlad at pagpapalakas ng ekonomiya, ang ating kolektibong aksyon at misyon ang magiging susi po para mas pinatatag na Mindanao,” Go expressed, encapsulating the collaborative spirit necessary for the region’s prosperity.

In closing, Go reaffirmed his readiness to assist Mindanao the best way he can as a Mindanaoan Senator, extending an open invitation for collaboration to further the region’s development goals.


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