Civil Society and Mindanao 2000

Romulo Dela Rosa


Each administration, at one time or another, promised to give Mindanao either a long-overdue helping hand or a fair shake. So far the Filipinos down south are more inclined to bite hands, or shoot them off, if the seccessionists were to have their way. The fall of the Marcos regime ended two decades of extreme neglect but gave way to two administrations' worth of relative neglect. To his credit, President Ramos took the concept a step further. His office even gave it a name: Mindanao 2000. Targeting sustainable development by the year 2010 consultations were held and opinions were heard from all political and social sectors during the 1992-1996 "summits." In an era of renewed participation from marginalized sectors, loudest voice came from the least marginalized source. It was loud enough to negate that of non-government (NGOs), peoples organizations (POs), cooperatives and the Mindanao population as a whole. The corporate lobby eased out Civil Society even before Mindanao 2000 could be finalized on paper.

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