By Antonio Colina IV
TAGUM CITY – Mindanao would serve as a “beacon of hope for economic transformation” as the critical reforms for peacebuilding have put the island on an emerging path, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCCII) president Maria Alegria Limjoco said.
During the opening day of the three-day Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) at the Big 8 Hotel Corporate Hotel in Tagum City on Thursday, Limjoco said the signing of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM) will support the peace initiatives to address the decades-long armed conflicts here.
She said the PCCCII supported the OLBARMM, calling it an important step in enabling the shared future for Mindanao that is “prosperous, inclusive, and resilient.”
Last July 27, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARRM), previously referred to as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, an enabling law of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) that was signed by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.
The passage of OLBARMM would pave the way for the creation of a new political entity that would replace the ARMM.
Citing the importance of Mindanao in the overall economic development of the Philippines, Limjoco urged businessmen to explore economic opportunities in the island to create more jobs for the people and alleviate poverty.
“I encourage you and the rest of the entrepreneurs with us today to remain committed to our steadfast role as agents of change and facilitators of inclusive business development to elicit transformative movement in our economy and lives of our fellow Filipinos,” she said.
Limjoco urged all the stakeholders to create more “dynamic, resilient and competitive hubs” in Mindanao driven by a new wave of governance, innovation, disaster resiliency, and economic prosperity as they position Mindanao as a “bedrock of most important industrial and tourism hubs in the country.”
The business leader also underscored the importance of the passage of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act for the development of Mindanao and the rest of the country.
“We are also confronted with strong competition in the region in obtaining investments in which regulatory quality and institutional capacity of our government agencies and local governments become important variables to ensure we are at par with regional and global competitiveness standards,” she said.