DAVAO CITY – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol underscored anew the need for the Local Government Units (LGUs) in Mindanao to be self-reliant as the country grapples with the effects of COVID-19.
Sec. Piñol renewed his advocacy during a Management Committee (ManCom) Meeting he presided over for his workers on Tuesday in this city, according to MinDA Communications Division Director Dr. Adrian Tamayo.
Piñol believes that in order to restart the economy and bolster socioeconomic development in the island-region, every Local Government Unit should rely on their own concerted efforts and abilities in this time of recovery since the national government, on the other hand, has been devoting its resources to the on-going fight against the pandemic, Tamayo said.
“LGUs cannot expect a lot from the national government. Walang pondo ang national government ngayon. In fact, na-sequestered ang mga pondo ng mga ahensya. So, there’s not much money to talk about right now,” He quoted Piñol as saying at the meeting.
As MinDA Chairman, Piñol is keen on refocusing the agency’s programs in order to help the economy regain its momentum once again and bring forth concrete results that will be felt on the ground despite financial difficulties and limitations present, Tamayo said.
“Our objective is to really restart the economy of Mindanao. Ang dapat nating tingnan in prioritizing our programs: ano ‘yong may immediate effect na programa na maka-benepisyo agad ‘yong mga tao natin and ma-restart ‘yong economy,” the MinDA chairman told his management team.
While efforts on the restoration of the economy are underway, he highlights that it is the right time for the Local Government Units to unleash their individual coping mechanisms and maximize resources under the new normal set-up.
“So, whatever we do in Mindanao right now will be guided by the philosophy of self-reliance. We will have to encourage LGUs to really invest,” Piñol added
Citing his recent official visits to Impasugong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan (IMTASULA), he encouraged the mayors of the respective areas to look for ways to prop-up their local economies, “You buy equipment. ‘Wag kayong matakot mangutang. Bumili kayo ng equipment sapagkat you have to build your own roads right now.”
Among the COVID-19 response programs that MinDA is actively taking on are the “Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa” Program, Sustainable Agriculture Project for IMTASULA areas and MinDA Tienda.
ALI G. MACABALANG