Regional Development Council (RDC) IX  supports the peace process for Mindanao. This was the message of its recently-concluded 150th Regular Meeting held on March 5  at Janice Hall,  Roderic’s  Resort, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

During the said meeting, the Council passed 29 resolutions including Resolution No. 010-15 entitled “A Resolution Requesting Congress to Review and Amend Certain Provisions of HB 4994 or the Bangsamoro Basic Law.” Some of these provisions are: Article I (Name and Title), Sections 1 (Title) and 2 (Name), On the Definition of Bangsamoro; Article III (Territory), Sections 2-d (Core Territory) and 3 (Contiguous Territory); Article III, letter c, regarding inclusion of Isabela City in Core Territory of Bangsamoro  although they voted “No” twice in the previous plebiscites; Article III, Section 4 (Inland Waters) and  Section 5 (Bangsamoro Waters); Article IV (General Principles and Policies), Section 2 (Democratic Political System);  Article V (Powers of the Government), Section 2 (Concurrent Powers), No. 12 (Funding for National Roads); Section 2.5 (Human Rights and Humanitarian Protection and Promotion), Section 2.7 (Auditing), Section 2.8 (Civil Service); Section 3 (Exclusive Powers); among others.

The comments and recommendations on the said   provisions in the proposed BBL constitute   the consolidated output of the RDC IX Sectoral Committees in a joint consultation on the draft BBL held on March 3  in Pagadian City. The consultation was undertaken pursuant to a resolution of the RDC IX Advisory Committee passed on February 18.  Around 66   members of the four RDC  IX  Sectoral Committees (Social, Infrastructure, Administration, and Economic Development Sectors) consisting of local government units, regional line agencies and private sector representatives participated in the said consultation.

Among the 29 resolutions passed were the Council’s endorsements of the following: (a)  Mindanao Spatial Strategy/Development Framework (MSSDF) to the NEDA Board-RDCom; (b) the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Free Fort to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos , Departments  of Science and Technology and  Trade and Industry as Halal Hub of the Philippines; (c) conduct of International Investment Forum in October in ZamPen; and, (d) the creation/establishment of Mindanao Power Corporation to Congress.

Meanwhile, Hon. Eldwin M. Alibutdan, Mayor of the Municipality of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay extended his generosity to RDC IX members and guests by hosting the Council’s 150th Regular Meeting. In his welcome message, he stressed three key points:  good governance, peace and environmental protection. As regards to good governance, he spoke on Ipil’s conscientious efforts in ensuring transparency in public transactions. In addition, he also shared his LGU’s popular initiatives on environmental protection.  Ipil, the mayor disclosed, is the first municipality in the Philippines to implement the Fish Forever Program.