Photo from BPDA


COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) are gearing up on accelerating the autonomous region’s economic growth and enhancement of business opportunities.

In partnership with the European Union thru the Support to the Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA), BPDA and MinDA held a 3-day strategic joint planning and programming (JPP) workshop last Feb 27 to March 1 to brief their technical working group (TWG) members and secretariat on the Mindanao Agenda, BIMP-EAGA, and 2nd Bangsamoro Development Plan 2023-2028.

According to BPDA Director-General Engr. Mohajirin Ali, the partnership would accelerate BARMM’s socioeconomic and peace development and integrate development initiatives in the identified fields of cooperation in Mindanao, including those concerns for the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

“This joint workshop is the recent evidence of our efforts in developing a thriving and resilient Mindanao, taking the fullest advantage of economic complementation,” DG Ali said.

Meanwhile, MinDa Director Joey Recimilla shared the agreements between MinDA and BPDA, underscoring the BIMP-EAGA, Mindanao corridors, interregional concerns, spatial planning, and official development assistance (ODA) coordination as focus areas of its partnership coordination.

The Director also discussed the adoption of strategies which include joint planning and programming, policy development, and institutional building.

“We’ll be working on specific sectors – the connectivity, digital, power, food, agri-business, tourism, sociocultural, and of course environment, water,” Recimilla said.

He stressed that BARMM has always been an important focus of MinDA’s development initiatives for Mindanao as it plays a strategic, historical, and cultural value in the Philippines’ commitment and participation under the BIMP-EAGA and sub-regional cooperation.

For Chief of MinDA’s International Relations Division Jonathan Miral, BARMM is treated as ‘one specific corridor’, while emphasizing that all of the regions in Mindanao are treated equally by MinDA.

“Truly, BARMM is the gateway of BIMP-EAGA because of its strategic location,” said Chief Miral who acts as country secretariat for BIMP-EAGA.

Keith Morgan, a public administration reform expert from the SUBATRA, shared their commitment of support to BARMM by working to strengthen the Bangsamoro Government including BPDA, Office of the Chief Minister (OCM), and BARMM ministries, offices, and agencies through the improvement of processes and procedures and capacity building of staff.

“I am here to look, listen, and hopefully contribute, too. We, in SUBATRA, are keen to see the proposed projects and where we can provide assistance until 2025,” Morgan said.

He also stressed, “SUBATRA is very happy to support this important activity which will lay the groundwork for future cooperation between MinDA and the BPDA.”

Meanwhile, among the possible areas of coordination between BPDA and MinDA are the formulation of Bangsamoro Spatial Development Framework (BSDF) 2024-2050; strengthening the Sub-Committee on BIMP-EAGA and formulation of a mini strategic plan for BARMM BIMP-EAGA; formulation of Bangsamoro Halal Development Plan; resource mobilization; investment programming through JPP; knowledge sharing, capacity development, and technical assistance for research database and knowledge management system development; support to existing researches and collaboration for the implementation of the Mindanao River Basin Master Plan; and formulation of Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) and Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES). (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO with reports from BPDA)