News From : DagangHalal.com (10 Nov 2009)
Koronadal City (10 November) — Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan vows to take ARMM to its full economic might and contribute to the country’s overall economic development in his 5th State of the Region Address (SORA) before the Regional Assembly.
Ampatuan delivered his 5th SORA before the members of the Regional Assembly at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex inside the ARMM Regional Government Center here on November 9, 2009.
According to Ampatuan, ARMM’s overall economic performance remained resilient during the past years despite the uncertainties. The region registered a growth rate of 5.3% in its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) in 2007 with the agri-fishery sector contributing a bulk to the total output.
The agri-fishery sector experienced a growth of 8.1 % and comprised 58.4% of the region’s total economic output.
Moreover, ARMM managed to attract a total of P2.4 billion in a period spanning 3 years, from 2006-2008, that generated the employment of 32,772 workers.
“Our economic strategies will continue, not just to make ARMM grow to its full potential but also to help boost the country’s overall economic growth,” Ampatuan said.
Ampatuan has also placed second among his three priority development plans the region’s target to take a lead in the “production, processing and marketing of halal products and services in the country.”
The global halal market is estimated to be around $US632 billion and Thailand, the leading exporter of certified halal products and a country which also has a Muslim minority, makes about US$6.3 billion annually from its halal industry.
ARMM is already taking steps to get a slice of the lucractive halal market. The region has come up with a Halal developmment plan, identifying mechanisms to stimulate and establish the region’s halal industry, on orders from Ampatuan.
The region is also investing heavily on the contruction and improvement key infrastructures with 227 projects amounting to P1 billion for 2009. Other infrastructure projects are also being undertaken in partnership with foreign donors such as the Sanga-Sanga airport in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and the Jolo airport in Sulu, which are being funded by the USAID.
Ampatuan affirmed that the ARMM will continue to carry forward the interests and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people even as he called for the support of other Muslim leaders on his program of government.
He said that it his duty as Regional Governor “to protect this institution [ARMM] and to make it work better under the present set-up.”
He said the regional government will work to “strengthen the institutional structure of regional autonomy to make it more responsive to our [Bangsamoro people] needs, ideals and aspirations as Bangsamoro people.”
The 5th SORA according to him, with the number of accomplishments highlighted therein, manifests the regional government’s “resolve and dedication to continue serving the people with better services they deserve.”
Ampatuan took time in thanking the national leadership under the administration of President Gloria Pacapagal Arroyo for the support and trust the national government has been giving to the ARMM. He also underscored the role of the foreign and local donor institutions in the regional development. (bpi-armm/PIA 12)