PGMA commits to fast-track Mindanao body bill
by Mai Gevera
Davao City (31 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pledged to certify the pending Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA) to institutionalize the Mindanao Economic Development Council (Medco).
In a close-door meeting Thursday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel with the Mindanao block composed of government leaders, religious, and business leaders, PGMA assured the movers for MEDA to prioritize the bill.
The President claimed similar intentions pushed by the said bill. Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza told the media the President's willingness to back up the bill.
"President Arroyo said that she was the one who filed the Mindanao Development Authority bill when she was still senator under the Aquino administration. Unfortunately, it was just blocked by the administration at that time," Dureza said.
The MEDA bill was also endorsed by Archbishop Fernando Capalla.
The final output of the Bishop Ulama Conference Community consultations and dialogues in the local communities in Mindanao also recommended for the institutionalization of the existing Mindanao Economic Development Council through the creation of MEDA as this would open economic development in the entire Mindanao.
The MEDA bill, if approved, will then enable the office to promote, coordinate and facilitate the active and extensive participation of al sectors to affect the socio-economic development of Mindanao.
It won't duplicate or overlap functions with other government agencies like the National Economic Development Authority, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. Rather, MEDA is designed to complement the functions of these offices. (PIA XI) [top]