Duterte: Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat will be priority for dev't
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he would prioritize the economic development of Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat because they have the highest incidence of hunger.
Speaking before local officials, officers and employees of Green Earth EnerSource Corporation (Green Earth) in Buluan, Maguindanao on Friday, July 22, Duterte said, “Alam mo kasi ang priority ko ang itong Maguindanao pati Sultan Kudarat. You know why? Sa statistics, you have the highest incidence of hunger. Kaya ang una ko dito by next month, kapag bababa dito yung mga DSWD, sabi ko, pakisilip nga ang mga taong – nakakaawa eh. Maybe you’d be short of everything but not food. Mahirap yan, gutom.”
(You know my priority is Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. You know why? Based on statistics, you have the highest incidence of hunger. That’s why my priority here by next month, when DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development] comes down here, I said, please take a look at the people who are pitiful. Maybe you’d be short of everything but not food. It’s hard being hungry.)
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is among the poorest regions in the Philippines. The province of Maguindanao, which is part of ARMM, registered as of 2012 a 32.1% poverty incidence rate.
Sultan Kudarat was among the provinces that needed “greater attention” in terms of food security, according to the World Food Programme, based on a survey conducted by Laylo Research Strategies in 2015.
The International Food Policy Research’s 2015 Global Hunger Index said the Philippines faces a “serious” level of hunger.
Duterte was in Maguindanao to attend the symbolic launching of the first commercial biomass power plant there that will be built by Green Earth. The renewable energy plant, according to a press statement by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, will have an installed capacity of 4.5 megawatts. It is expected to generate enough electricity for Buluan and generate local employment.
Duterte also said he was willing to implement the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) if it would end the decades-old Mindanao conflict. The BBL, which would have granted greater fiscal and political powers to a new regional government, was stalled in Congress.
He also said he has plans of putting up industrial zones in Mindanao. “Then ang easy market ko, locators would be China. China ang may pera.” (Then my easy market would be locators from China. China has the money.) – Rappler.com