Representatives of various sectors hold a consultation on the proposal to create a new Muslim autonomous region in the southern Philippines. (Photo courtesy of the ARMM Bureau of Public Information)
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has named a deputy governor for Christians, a first in the predominantly Muslim territory.
Regional governor Mujiv Hataman said the new post would ensure that the voices of minority Christians would be heard.
"We will ensure to hear the sentiments and condition of the people so we can address their needs," said Edgardo Ramirez, who took office as deputy governor on March 1.
Ramirez, a known human rights activist and radio broadcaster, said he would promote inter-religious understanding between Muslims and Christians in the region.
The autonomous region, which comprises five provinces, has a population of about four million — around ten percent are Christians.
Ramirez said among his priorities as deputy governor is to gather socio-economic and demographic profiles of non-Muslims to help policy makers formulate development plans for the area.