The Development Academy of the Philippines is exploring a long-term partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), among other organizations in Mindanao, as it aims to strengthen and make more strategic the engagement of its flagship body in the south, the DAP sa Mindanao (DSM), in the region.

DAP President and Chief Executive Officer Engelbert C. Caronan Jr. expressed this intention during the ninth anniversary celebration of MinDA, which coincided with the 25th anniversary observance of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP EAGA) in Davao City that President Rodrigo Duterte graced recently.  The event served as an occasion for Secretary Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto, MinDA chairperson, to hand to Duterte the Metro Davao Master Plan.

Major development partner

Caronan, who was among some 700 to attend the twin celebration along with DAP OP-Special Projects Head Jo-Ann de Belen, said that the DAP has been invited by the MinDA as a major development partner, and he said this is consistent with long-term partnerships that the Academy is also looking into with such Mindanao entities as the University of the Philippines-Mindanao and the Mindanao State University.

“This is in line with our desire to strengthen and make more strategic the engagement of the DAP sa Mindanao in the island,” Caronan said.  The DAP’s top executive also said the Academy is now looking closely into securing the land that the Davao City government is donating to the DAP in an area being planned to house the future regional government center in Mintal, Davao City.  The land is where the DSM is being considered to be established.

A significant step

Alonto, meanwhile, also reiterated that he himself is looking forward to a MinDA-DAP partnership, expressing the belief that it would be a significant step in the development of the region if the Academy and his agency would be able to work together as key development partners in Mindanao, particularly in building up the human resource and institutional management capabilities relevant to the southern island’s needs.

The MinDA was created through Republic Act 9996 in 2010 and is mandated to promote, coordinate and facilitate the active and extensive participation of all sectors to effect the socioeconomic development of Mindanao.  It is the permanent Philippine coordinating office for the Philippines in the BIMP-EAGA, ensuring the active participation of Mindanao and Palawan in economic cooperation in the region.