Hataman urges local planners to prioritize people over politicians PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 18 March 2012 15:34

Officer-in-charge (OIC) Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has urged provincial and municipal policymakers to formulate long-term development plans that cater to the real needs of the people and not the interests and agenda of politicians.

In a breakfast meeting with planning officers of the different local government units (LGUs) in the region early this week, Hataman underscored the imperative of having plans built on the actual needs of the people and the locality.

He encouraged planners to tailor local executive agenda to the three three pillars of his administration’s reform agenda namely governance, socio-economic development, and peace and security.

“Plans should be responsive to the needs of our people, it should be people-centered and not politician-centered,” Hataman stressed.

Plans should be designed for the long-term and not expendable as the term of certain politicians end, he said.

LGU planners, he said, are the “engines of development” and are more permanent compared to politicians who come and go.

The caretaker governor also cited the need to update baseline data crucial in establishing local human development indicators.

“Local development plans should be largely based on these information as they depict the true needs of people in the area,” he said.

Hataman paid special attention to the problem on power shortage prevailing in all three of the region’s island provinces. He said his administration will
look into ways to address the problem in tie up with the concern LGUs and partners from the private sector.

Also in the meeting were other officials of the regional government that included Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) Executive Director Diamadel Dumagay, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Marites Manguindra, and representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) assisting the present ARMM caretaker government in its reform agenda that included Father Eliseo Mercado, director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) and lawyer Randolph Parcasio of The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Parcasio said past ARMM administration did not explore the prospect of empowering LGUs as frontrunners of development in the region.

He said it would also to the advantage of the regional government if it manages to resolve some of the issues involved in its intergovernmental relationship with the LGUs.

“ARMM is always blamed when the internal revenue allotments (IRA) of LGUs is much larger than that of the region and everybody’s asking too much from the regional government,” Parcasio said, citing that funds from the regional government and its agencies usually comprise largely for personnel services (PS) and a little for maintenance and operations.

“Let us start strategizing on sharing powers, and I hope this can be resolved before the reform timeframe runs out,” he added.

Mercado on the other hand, urged the planners to “think in a new way” in crafting development interventions appropriate to concrete needs of their communities and committed support to capacitate the planners to empower them to move forward as “engines of development”.

“We should also do away with the mendicancy attitude as we are pursuing self-determination and give dignity to autonomy,” he said.