Mindanao, based on the analysis of the Mindanao Development Authority, is expected to achieve a higher economic growth this year as it has gotten the attention not only of local investors but also of foreign ones.
The analysis was based on the projection that more investors are coming to the island even if the national government has imposed Martial Law and despite the continued pocket security concerns in some areas.
Another factor that is being considered in the projection is the positive development that the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law will bring to areas under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
This factor, however, remains to be seen especially because there are people who do not believe in the capability of the new entity to institute changes while others still have that belief that any attempt to come up with a peaceful solution to the conflict people is futile.
So it now becomes the challenge to the people in Mindanao, particularly those leaders who will lead the new Bangsamoro entity, to change not only the narrative that Mindanao is synonymous to conflict, but primarily to change the mindset that the wedge driven between groups cannot be eliminated.
It maybe easier said than done, but the only way for Mindanao to truly progress is for its people – regardless of belief and other distinguishing factors – to join hands and work to ensure its success. To do this is to believe that changes can take place if the people are united.
But the success will always hinge on how the leaders of Mindanao, especially those in the new autonomous region, will accept the responsibilities that fall on their shoulders. They must remember that this will be a make or break scenario for them and the generations after them.