Mindanao, especially in the proposed Bangsamoro region, can now engage in public-private partnerships (PPP) programs and official development assistance (ODA) following the signing of the wealth sharing agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) over the weekend said that the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing will pave the way for a more inclusive development the area.
The annex, an accompanying document to the main Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB), provides gives the Bangsamoro the authority to contract loans with any lending institution, except in cases requiring sovereign guarantees which the central government will provide.
“Even after the signing of the FAB in October last year, there have been some interest in the area from investors. In fact, there were already international missions that visited Mindanao to explore potential investments in agriculture, housing, real estate, hotels and resorts. Through the agreements in the annex, the Bangsamoro can engage with potential investors through public-private partnerships and ODA,” according to Maria Lourdes Lim, regional director of NEDA Regional Office XI and chairman of the government’s technical working group on wealth sharing.
She said the wealth sharing accord will allow the Bangsamoro to attain financial independence and enable it to steer its own growth and development.
Lim highlighted the provisions on ODA, the establishment of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board, Bangsamoro Auditing Body and formulation of the Bangsamoro development plan, gender and development as among the mechanisms that will help spur investment and open up socioeconomic opportunities in the area.
She added that the national government oversight agencies such as the Departments of Finance, Budget and Management, and the NEDA may be involved in the proposed Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board, which ensures the attainment of fiscal autonomy of the Bangsamoro.
“The Annex provides that government will have a representation in the Board. While the list of membership has yet to be outlined, the oversight agencies will most likely be actively involved in it,” said Lim.
MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO