DAVAO CITY (29 September 2020)- Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Adbdulghani ‘Gerry’ Ajul Salapuddin recently clarified that SPDA is a corporate entity and that it has a business structure established to perform activities for the socio-economic development in Mindanao through business enterprises, investments, and engagement in sustainable public-private partnerships that promote peace in Mindanao especially in the conflict affected areas in the country’s second largest island.
Administrator Salapuddin had made this explanation amid confusion raised by Senators Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa and Aquilino Martin ‘Koko’ Pimentel III on the mandates of SPDA and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) during the recent virtual budget presentation for Fiscal Year 2021 before the sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Salapuddin added, although SPDA and MinDA are both government agencies operating in Mindanao, however, SPDA functions differently vis-à-vis the latter. He said SPDA is endowed with corporate powers to implement and manage economic and development projects, hence, the Authority can exercise the right of eminent domain, contract indebtedness and issue bonds, establish corporations, charge and collect fees, invest or extend loans and guarantees through the national government, and enter into joint ventures with Filipino and foreign investors.
Salapuddin further disclosed that SPDA’s mandate is very broad and it was created during the Marcos regime basically to respond to the Moro rebellion in Mindanao during the time when there was no negotiation for peace settlement. He said former President Marcos gave life to SPDA purposely to trigger socio-economic development in Mindanao.
Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) is one of the longest operating government-owned and controlled corporations in the country under the Office of the President which was established in 1975 by virtue of Presidential Decree 690, as amended by P.D. 1703. (Celestino B. Siglos, Ed.D.)