By Maila Ager | Inquirer.net
IN LIEU of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is proposing a “full-scale” modernization program for all of Mindanao – politically, economically, socially and culturally.
“From our studies of the problems in Muslim Mindanao and the whole of Mindanao, I am convinced that the best approach is a full–scale modernization program for all of Mindanao – politically, economically, socially and culturally,” Marcos said when he spoke Tuesday night before the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa) held at the Manila Hotel.
“We cannot just keep on talking of one small slice of what was once called ‘our land of promise.’ We must now deal with the whole – all of Mindanao and Sulu, and all the people there. Our planning, our actions, our strategies, and our labors must measure up to that challenge,” he said.
Marcos, who is leading the BBL hearings in the Senate as chairman of the committee on local government, said the amount of money that the Aquino administration was prepared to commit to its BBL experiment was enough to design the equivalent of a mini-Marshall plan for Mindanao.
On the first year of its operation, the proposed Bangsamoro entity would get an estimated total funding of P75 billion.
“If we combine internal funds with financial assistance from international institutions and foreign countries, we can mobilize funds on a scale that will not fall short of effecting the full transformation of Mindanao into a hive of modernization and productivity for the nation,” he said.
“If we get the private sector – domestic and foreign investors — fully involved, there’s no telling what we can accomplish. As we unleash the full potential of Mindanao for development, the investments and resources will follow.”
“This of course needs full study and planning. This must involve planners and managers in Manila, and planners and managers in Mindanao,” the senator added.
Marcos said such a modernization program should include the following components: pacification campaign, modernization of power and road infrastructure, modernization of civil service, and efficient delivery of basic services.
“Mindanao’s modernization is the vision that I will introduce in either my substitute bill for the BBL or an amendment of the organic act for ARMM, which I will submit to Congress. I will request the support of both Houses of Congress to join me in sponsoring this program of transformation,” he further said.
In a privilege speech last month, Marcos rejected the “present form” of BBL, saying it would “lead us to perdition.”