President Aquino to meet with local government officials in ARMM
Cotabato City – President Benigno Aquino III will meet with local chief executives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at a local government summit scheduled Tuesday in Davao City.
The governors of ARMM’s five provinces and mayors of its 2 cities and 116 municipalities including regional officials and legislators from the region are expected to be in attendance to discuss, among others, crisis management issues at every government level in the region.
Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said it’s going to be the second local government unit summit for the ARMM.
Alamia said the summit will highlight the role of ARMM government units in the Mindanao peace process and issues on disaster management, mitigation and response.
The regional government, she said, is hoping to capacitate local government units and “cascade” what it has done in terms of disaster risk management down to the local level.
In a meeting with members of the ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) and non-government organizations operating in ARMM, Alamia said ARMM’s unique setup calls for a “temporary special measure to respond to an abnormal situation” in the region.
Alamia said the local counterparts of most agencies that are supposed to be at the forefront of emergency response have still not been devolved to the ARMM government and there are 12 municipalities that don’t have internal revenue allotment (IRA), meaning they can’t source the 5 percent calamity fund provided by law.
Displacement has also become the norm in some of the region’s unstable communities.
Alamia said the regional government has to take a proactive stance and provide immediately intervention in times of emergencies, although the law does not provide for it.
The ARMM HEART is one of the regional government’s response to the prevalence of displacement and emergencies in the region due to man-made and natural calamities.(Bureau of Public Information)