By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Local government executives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will hold a two-day convention beginning Tuesday in Davao City to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the regional government with President Aquino attending on the second day.
Acting Regional Governor Mujib Hataman said the first day will focus on how to improve governance in the lowest government unit in the region up to the regional level.
“The outcome of which will be presented to President Aquino who will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker,” Hataman said.
Expected to attend are Hataman, acting Vice Governor Bainon Karon, five provincial governors and vice governors, 114 mayors and vice mayors and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly.
The two-day activity, the first ever in the history of the 22-year old ARMM, was organized by the office of Hataman and the region’s local government secretary, Haron Al-Rashid Lucman.
“This is still within the reforms and open governance vision of President Aquino to make things right in the controversial ARMM bureaucracy and in encouraging local officials in the region, regardless of party affiliations, to help us address the perceived weaknesses of the governing mechanisms of the autonomous region,” Hataman said in a statement.
To be highlighted in the convention is the ongoing peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which will re-shape the current ARMM government and its jurisdiction.
ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Also expected to be discussed is the up-coming general re-registration of voters in the region as part of the electoral reforms being pushed by Malacañang.
Lucman said other highlights of the biggest ARMM gathering of LGU executives is the conduct of simultaneous workshops wherein participants shall be grouped according to their respective provinces to discuss issues and concerns on three major topics: local governance, socio-economic development and peace and security.
He said the workshops output will be presented in a plenary by the respective provincial governors.
During the activity, a seal of housekeeping-ARMM will be launched with the following LGU-recipients with its mayors receiving P1 million check and a plaque of appreciation: Mayor Lester Sinsuat of Datu Odin Sinsuat; Mayor Ibrahim Ibay of Parang, Maguindanao; Mayor Tocao Mastura of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao; Mayor Ramon Piang of Upi, Maguindanao; Mayor Elvino Balicao Jr. of Wao, Lanao del Sur.
Recipient among 4th class municipalities are: Pandami and Panglima Estino of Sulu; Mamasapano, Guindulungan, Talayan, Paglat, Sultan Mastura and Datu Saudi Ampatuan of Maguindanao.