PGMA enjoins Mindanao leaders to continue reform agenda

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo asked Mindanao local executives to help in the implementation of the government's reform agenda.

The President made the call at the closing ceremonies of the Mindanao-Island Cluster Conference, which was sponsored by the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) here.

The government's reform agenda includes programs designed to uplift the economy, improve education, protect the environment, feed the poor and generate jobs.

In her speech, the President said an additional P40 billion in internal revenue allotments (IRA) is now allocated to local government units (LGUs).

She added her administration was able to pay even the IRAs owed to LGUs by past administrations.

The President directed the executives to create an anti-hungry taskforce in their municipalities.

Mindanao has six of the country's poorest provinces. These are Zamboanga del Norte, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Lanao del Sur.

The President told her audience to follow the example of National Nutrition Council (NNC), which has a anti-poverty task force that conducts visits to poor provinces and addresses the nutritional problems of the inhabitants.

At present, the NNC has regional anti-hunger taskforces in Saranggani, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Agusan del Sur, Maguindanao, Surigao del Norte, and Lanao del Norte.

In closing, the President reminded the local executives that they owe their positions to their constituents.

"We have to give them the best of our efforts," the President said. (PIA)

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