Civil society and the people’s sector have joined hands in mobilizing efforts to achieve a strategic development plan to upgrade the quality of life of local residents and develop the local economy in the southern border provinces.
More than 50 people from civil society networks, comprising representatives of community organization councils, agriculture councils, and civil society organizations, attended a brainstorming session on 25 August 2023 in Songkhla province to discuss the development plan.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) Chanathan Saengphum joined the brainstorming session and offered some suggestions. He said that there were several problems concerning the quality of life of people in the deep South. For instance, many local children, aged below seven years, have nutrition deficiencies.
Mr. Chanathan stressed the Government’s policy to improve the quality of life of people in all age groups. The food security development plan in the southern border provinces, 2024-2027, seeks to develop the potential of farmers in order to promote agribusiness, production, and commercial agriculture.
He said that SBPAC is attaching greater importance to the participation of the people and civil society in local development projects. A proposal has been made in introducing new financial regulations and reducing government procedures in order to facilitate the participation and operations of the people’s sector.
Moreover, under the project on subdistrict stability, prosperity, and sustainability through the subdistrict peace councils, civil society and the people’s sector will be allowed to serve as a core unit in the plans that aim to develop the people’s quality of life, reduce disparities, and strengthen the local economy.
He told participants in the brainstorming session to take the subdistrict development plan to discuss with local people and come up with the overall picture of the development plan, which would lead to the implementation at provincial and regional levels.
Mr. Chanathan indicated that the move was seen as a significant step of development that emphasized locality and local people as the center. He also said that the Government was pushing for the development of the Halal Economic Corridor in the southern border provinces for food security and better livelihoods of local residents.