Friday, October 10, 2014

Passage of Bangsamoro Law to address effects of conflict — Trade sector execs


Passage of Bangsamoro Law to address effects of conflict — Trade sector execs

MANILA – The gains that will result from the successful creation of the proposed Bangsamoro political entity will address the effects of massive social and economic cost of armed violence and conflict, according to cabinet members and executives representing the trade sector.
“If you consider the benefits that the Bangsamoro Basic Law aims to put into effect, we will be able to address the (long-term) cost—both social and economic—of conflict,” said Director Remedios Endencia of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
“The passage of the BBL will open up opportunities that will enable the area to catch up and bring about sustained peace and progress.”
According to Endencia, the BBL will “establish a platform for achieving human development progress and general welfare” that will boost the war-torn core territory of the Bangsamoro, as well as the rest of Mindanao.
She further added that up to 8.2 billion pesos annually are lost during periods of intense conflict. Constant threats of war and armed violence in Mindanao have also discouraged investments, adding lost opportunities to the total cost of war.
Across-the-board support
Speaking at the fourth regular committee hearing on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, also known as House Bill 4994, the trade group made known its statements of support to the members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Bangsamoro Basic Law that is leading the deliberations in the House of Representatives.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino expressed support for the proposed legislation, underscoring that the resulting Bangsamoro economy will play a pivotal role in the larger Mindanao economic arena.
“Mindanao’s real progress is hinged on the unity of its people,” Antonino said. “Through concerted efforts that can begin with the passage of the Bangsamoro bill, we will be able to achieve and strengthen the foundations of lasting peace in Bangsamoro and Mindanao as a whole.”
Atty. Datu Reza Sinsuat, acting corporate secretary of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA), added that his agency “will support the proposed Bangsamoro government by helping create a conducive business environment that will extend the gains of the GPH-MILF peace agreement to all Bangsamoro constituents, especially those located in hard-to-reach areas.”
Early stages difficult, but still better than being at war
Mindanao Business Council President Vicente Lao acknowledged that the early stages of the establishment of the Bangsamoro will be a difficult process, but pointed out that despite growing pains, the early days of Bangsamoro’s peace will still trump conditions of war.
“We can start from here. Perhaps this will be the way to push Mindanao further forward towards progress,” he said.
Maguindanao and Cotabato City 1st District Representative Bai Sandra Sema said that the trade sector will be among the first to appreciate the gains of a successfully established and implemented Bangsamoro.
“The peace and development that will take place when this bill is passed and is successful in its implementation will benefit you first because you are already there,” Sema said. “Your infrastructures, your businessmen are already there.”
“We therefore appeal for your full support to push for the Bangsamoro to promote progress for all, instead of focusing on its limitations.”

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