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Better investments seen after Lanao visit of President

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By Nash B. Maulana

Cotabato City—Better business climate has heralded from President Rodrigo Duterte’s the surprise visit to Lanao del Sur last week that investment prospects there have improved, Vice-Governor Mamintal Bombit Adiong Jr. said Friday.

Adiong emerged from a three-day meeting here that ended Friday local officials and Chief Minister Hadji Murad Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) vowed to deliver Moro areas from the bottom of the country’s poverty index.

He said Lanao Sur, despite the recent Marawi crisis, has much to contribute from its own resources to aim for greater economic performance to take the province off the list of the country’s poorest provinces.

Adiong said the President’s visit to celebrate Independence Day in Malabang Lanao Sur signaled the end of the Marawi conflict and the province’s rise to new heights of economic prosperity.

Lanao Sur, followed by Basilan and Sulu and Maguindanao, form the BARMM’s poorest areas in terms of poverty index reckoned from the general public responses to queries in Family Income and Expenditure Survey by enumerators of the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2018.

Speaking at the forum here for his mother Governor Bejoria Alonto-Adiong, the vice-governor expressed “utmost appreciation and sheer optimism” from President Duterte’s gesture in joining Lanao del Sur in celebrating the Philippines Independence Day last June 12.

“I believe that Mindanao is now the most important focus of human freedom in the country: Freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom from injustice. We shall continue the fight against terrorism and poverty until peace, security and prosperity take root in this part of the country,” Adiong said.

Jennie Alonto Tamano, head of the Provincial Information Office, recalled seeing in the President a sense of endearment and fondness for the Maranaos, particularly the governor’s family, among them, young women professionals, who accompanied the Chief Executive in ceremonies he attended in Malabang.

“Exploit your natural resources as those are yours,” the Chief Executive told the crowd. Mr. Duterte was joined by Ludovico Badoy, chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), who also grew up in Malabang.

Vice-Governor Adiong said once he assumes as the province’s governor on June 30, 2019, he would focus more on the economic development of his province by drawing in more investments, generating more job opportunities and on sustainable livelihood development programs.

This, he said, is in support of the Duterte administration’s quest for a prosperous nation.