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1 Apr, 2014

Peace to unleash agricultural, tourism potential of Mindanao

Manila, March 28, 2014 (Manila Bulletin) – The signing of the comprehensive agreement on the Bangsamoro will unleash the vast potentials of Mindanao in the areas of agriculture, agribusiness investments, tourism and natural resource development and enable the region to catch up with the country’s economic momentum.

This was stressed by both Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and the Makati Business Club.

peace CAB, Manila Bulletin, Bangsamoro

Peace advocates from different sectors join a kite flying activity at the Luneta Park in Manila to celebrate the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro on March 27. .(photo by ali vicoy)

“Mindanao is perfect for agriculture so it offers a big potential and the impact could exponential,” Domingo said adding that with the expected progress Mindanao can catch up with the country’s economic momentum.

Domingo cited Mindanao as perfect for agriculture because of its vast untapped land area. In addition, Mindanao has very good tourism sites.

“The eventual benefit for Mindanao is the peace and everything follows after the peace – economic and cultural benefits. Thus, once Mindanao attains peace it will unleash its huge potential because the resources are there whether you are talking about agriculture, mineral, even their craftsmanship and tourism,” Domingo said.

“It will start slow, but it will pick up the momentum,” he added.

In a statement, the Makati Business Club said it is one with the Filipino people in hailing the successful signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro citing efforts of several individuals and institutions, particularly the government of Malaysia, who have all been instrumental in the forging of the agreement.

“We are hopeful that the effective implementation of the Agreement will unleash the region’s vast potentials for agriculture and agribusiness investments, tourism, and natural resource development, among others. With this achieved, Mindanao will take its deserving place as a truly vibrant and essential part of the Philippine economic engine,” the statement said.

The group said the signing of the agreement will lead towards lasting peace now entering the halls of Congress for the crafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which the government has committed to certify as urgent.

“We shared the aspiration that the Basic Law will truly embody the aspirations of the Bangsamoro and usher the region towards greater economic, social, and cultural activity,” the statement said.

MBC said noted that the success of the peace deal hinges largely on genuine economic development, and the improvement in the quality of the lives of the people, both in the Bangsamoro and in Mindanao as a whole.

With the country’s steadily improving investment climate, the peace deal presents a golden opportunity for the Bangsamoro and Mindanao, the statement added.

MBC further called on the business community and its members to be active participants in developing Mindanao’s economy and in providing greater livelihood opportunities for Filipinos in the region.

It described the milestone as a testament to the strength of cooperation and dialogue in bridging seemingly irreconcilable differences.

“As we have previously stated, it may be high time for the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the MILF to come together and identify points of consensus between the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on which a more sustainable and lasting peace in Mindanao can be built,” MBC said.