After decades of conflict: New Bangsamoro region to drive growth, development in Mindanao

The creation of a new autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, which paved way after the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), would finally clear the way to the island’s rapid and sustainable development after decades of conflict, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

With the resounding approval of the BOL in the plebiscite held last January 21, Sec. Dominguez said there is renewed optimism that the issues behind the decades-old strife that divided Mindanao have been largely resolved and that the promise of development for its people would finally be realized.

“We again have the chance to recover the lost years, to redeem the lost generations,” Dominguez said.

“A new autonomy arrangement, overwhelmingly supported by the communities of this region, could light up the pathway to rapid development for the people of Mindanao. There is everything to gain from this,” Dominguez said.

The resounding approval of the BOL and the creation of a new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, however, are not instant solutions to the problems that have plagued Mindanao for almost a half-century, as the future success of the new autonomy setup is contingent on the hard work that all sectors are willing to undertake together over the long term, Dominguez said.

The resounding approval of the BOL and the creation of a new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, however, are not instant solutions to the problems that have plagued Mindanao for almost a half-century, as the future success of the new autonomy setup is contingent on the hard work that all sectors are willing to undertake together over the long term, Dominguez said.

“We must be aware, however, that there is no easy path to redemption. There is no magic wand that will instantly cure the malaise we confront — not a new configuration of governance and certainly not a single political speech,” Dominguez said.

“We must be prepared to work hard over the long term, addressing every deficiency and carefully building both the institutions and the political culture that will make rapid but sustainable development possible,” Dominguez said.

Sponsored by Mohamad Fuad Abdullah Kiram, Sultan of Sulu and Borneo; Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, Sultan of Lanao; and Subair G. Mustapha, Sultan of Marawi, Dominguez was recently conferred the title of Datu, which named him an honorary member of Bangsa Maranaw.

In a simple ceremony, Dominguez was presented with the Scroll of Conferment granting him the title of Datu; the Kandit, which is a gold buckle symbolizing his new title; and the Gunong, an ethnic Maranaw blade symbolizing his authority as Datu.

In his acceptance speech, Dominguez said the success in rehabilitating and reconstructing the damaged city of Marawi after the bloody conflict in 2017 will symbolize the larger effort of rebuilding the communities in Mindanao, which were ravaged by many years of conflict, and ensure that the next generations of Mindanaoans will be ready to thrive in a globalized economy.

The destruction of Marawi, which was the result of the urban warfare waged by government forces to expel militants planning to occupy the city, “was personally traumatic for me,” said Dominguez. “To me, this embodied all the destruction that befell Mindanao communities over the years of trouble.”

When Marawi was secured, Dominguez said he exerted his best efforts to gather funding support from multilateral institutions and the Philippines’ friends in the global community to help the city get back on its feet and restore it to its former glory.

Add Comment