Ex-Basilan guv is new SPDA CEO.
FORMER Basilan Governor Abdulghani A. Salapuddin assumed the administratorship of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA).
Salapuddin, in his acceptance speech yesterday, said the SPDA is gearing up for a more aggressive investment generation and project-oriented approach, especially in answering the challenge posed by the Moro rebellion.
'In line with and pursuant to the mandates of the charter of SPDA where we are mandated to engage in the socio-economic and resettlement programs of the Moro revolutionaries, we conceptualize the establishment of a PEACE (People Economic Advancement and Community Empowerment) Village for them,' Salapuddin said.
The SPDA has already identified an area in Tungawan municipality, Zamboanga Sibugay, comprising of five barangays for the MNLF revolutionaries.
Salapuddin envisioned the PEACE Village to be a community provided with viable and sustainable socio-economic programs, mainly agricultural-based and will be provided with all the necessary basic services and facilities, including vocational training and skills development center, school and madrasa for their physical and mental development.
'This program will be a holistic approach of social integration concept of a rebel rehabilitation program aim at changing and transforming their lives, mindset and attitude towards an enduring peaceful life,' Salapuddin said.
He added that similar PEACE Villages will be identified in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, in consultation with the MILF, OPAPP, and the DND and other concerned partner agencies of government.
Salapuddin, meanwhile, asked the full cooperation of the agency.
'As administrator and CEO of the authority, I am not alone in steering the course of this agency ... this journey is our journey together, not mine alone.
'As one indivisible body, let us unite and give our best efforts to change the socio-economic profile of Mindanao, to become the 'land of plenty' and the 'southern frontier of peace and development' in the Philippines. Let us take the lead in ushering the age of economic prosperity in the country and in the Southeast Asian region,' Salapuddin said.
The SPDA is a government corporation under the Office of the President. Its main function is to oversee and promote the economic development of Mindanao.
SPDA was created by Presidential Decree No. 690 during the Marcos regime to engage in various development projects in conflict-affected areas and communities.
The agency was deactivated in 2002 and reactivated in 2006 by then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in order to pursue development efforts as part of the catch-up plan for the full implementation of the peace agreement.