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PIA Press Release

Turnover of MinDA Chairmanship set today

Davao City (15 September) -- A ceremonial turnover of leadership at the Mindanao Development Authority is set here today (15 Sept) as President Benigno Aquino has formally installed Secretary Luwalhati Antonino as the newly-appointed MinDA chairperson.

Secretary Antonino, who took her oath in a ceremony held last Monday in Malacaņang, will replace outgoing MinDA chair Secretary Jesus Dureza.

With a cabinet rank of Secretary, Antonino shall carry Mindanao's representation in the national bureaucracy and will have a strong participation in the national development planning process.

Signed into law by Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on 17 February 2010, the MinDA, which institutionalizes MEDCo, is a single and permanent agency responsible for Mindanao's integrated peace and development.

It is mandated to address the need for a coordinated and integrated approach in the formulation and implementation of various Mindanao-wide and inter-regional development plans, programs and projects.

"I thank President Aquino for my appointment and ask assurance of his support for Mindanao," Antonino said at the Re-organizational Meeting of the House Committee on Mindanao Affairs held last week.

"We have a lot of dreams for Mindanao and having the assurance of President Noy that he will fulfill his promise for Mindanao, I think we will be able to move forward, not maybe a big jump, but at least leaps and bounds. Let's all work together," she added.

Under the law, the Authority's chair will have a fixed six-year term and shall sit as a member in the Cabinet.

The MinDA chair shall sit as an ex-officio member of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Board. She shall also serve as the Philippine Senior Official to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

As the incoming chair of MinDA, Secretary Antonino shall be responsible for overseeing efforts towards accelerating Mindanao's development and shall take the lead in sustaining coordination with several key agencies in the implementation of various interregional and Mindanao-wide peace and development programs and projects in the island-region.

Secretary Antonino is the former House representative of South Cotabato from 1992 to 2001.

She has a degree in B.S. Chemical Engineering at the University Sto. Tomas and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Economics at the prestigious New York University.

During the 11th Congress, she has served as president of the Mindanao Legislators Association and co-chairperson of the Philippine Legislators' Committee on population and Development Foundation, Inc.

She has also previously headed the House committees on foreign affairs and export promotion and was an active member of committees on Muslim affairs, Women, East ASEAN Growth area, Agriculture and Good Government at Congress.

She was also the principal co-author of RA 7877, an act declaring sexual harassment unlawful in the employment, education or training environment and RA 7882, an act providing assistance to women engaging in micro and cottage business enterprises. (MinDA) [top]

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