Koronadal City, South Cotabato – The team from the National Economic and Development Authority Regional Office XII provided technical assistance to the planning team of the provincial government of Cotabato for the review of its draft Provincial Development Physical Framework Plan (PDPFP) via video conference on March 3, 2022.

The meeting cum consultation was a follow through to the series of review sessions conducted relative to the preparation of the province’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) enhanced PDPFP.

Ms. Ma. Lulu E. Valencia, chief of the Development Research Division and the team leader of NEDA XII Cotabato Area Team presided over and steered the meeting cum consultation.

The implementation of RA 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law creating the Bangsamoro Administrative Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) affected the territorial and administrative jurisdiction of Cotabato Province and Region XII. Sixty-three barangays in Cotabato Province are now part of BARMM. Pending the final transfer of the 63 barangays to BARMM in year 2025, the province made use of the existing map for planning purposes. However, by 2025 or even prior to that year when the final transition shall have taken place, the province shall conduct another round of PDPFP updating, taking into account the final configuration of the province.

Among the features of the PDPFP of Cotabato is on infrastructure development, where the province is supporting the Xystus Northern Highland Agro-Industrial and Agri-Ecocultural Tourism Development Corridor of Region XII, as supplemented by the beautiful Mt. Apo Natural Park.

In support of the development of the north corridor, Cotabato Province has identified access roads leading to the agro industrial center for high value crops like coffee, cacao, banana, rubber highland vegetables and fruits; and to agri-ecocultural tourism areas along the highlands of Makilala, Kidapawan, Magpet and also in Pikit, Alamada, Libungan, Midsayap, Aleosan, Pigcawayan and Banisilan or the PALMA PB-area.

Important consideration will be given to the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Law considering the various protected areas in the province.

Ms. Cynthia Ortega, the Provincial Planning Development Coordinator of Cotabato Province expressed full support in fast-tracking the completion of the updated PDPFP.

RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 mandates the LGUs to formulate their respective multi-sectoral development plans. Along this mandate, RDC XII issued Resolution No. 49, series of 2020, Enjoining the Provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and Cotabato to Fast-track the Updating of their Respective DRR/CCA-Enhanced PDPFP. (Evie A Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)