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ARMM distributes palay seeds, steps up services to remotest poor sectors


The outgoing administration of Acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin Adiong has doubly intensified its thrusts to reach out to far and underprivileged sectors of the region; barely three months before Malacañang appoints officers-n-charge to take over the reins of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

ARMM Information chief Ali G. Macabalang said that Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo personally led the start of the distribution of palay seeds to farmers among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in three identified return sites in Maguindanao Province.

The report reveals that Sinarimbo distributed high-breed palay seeds to 346 displaced families in nine barangays of Datu Piang, three barangays in Datu Salibo, and barangay Dapiawan in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, all towns in Maguindanao adversely affected by fighting between military forces and Moro rebels.

From the three adjacent towns, Sinarimbo proceeded to the towns of Guindulungan, Talayan, Talitay, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Mother Kabuntalan and Northern Kabuntalan, and distributed similar seedlings for IDP-farmers.

The palay seeds, according to Sinarimbo, are part of the early recovery program of the Adiong administration to assist the IDPs in re-establishing their livelihoods upon their return home.

Moreover, Sinarimbo together with the Regional Economic Zone Authority (REZA), 6th Infantry Division and the Air Force’s Tactical Operations Group (TOG) 12 also distributed school bags and school supplies to 500 schoolchildren in Kinebeka Elementary School in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. They also conducted a feeding program for the schoolchildren.

The school supplies distribution drew 500 pupil-recipients and dozens of parents, mentors and village officials, who took turns in praising the outreach activity as their first from a group of ARMM officials ever.

Sinarimbo said the school is now the seventh of the litany of rural academic institutions served under continuing “adopt-a-school” program under the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) alone.

In the past months, all bureaus, offices and agencies have distributed various basic supplies for pupils and students across ARMM that they respectively adopted at an average of one school each.

Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Talayan, Maguindanao, the Early Recovery and Rehabilitation for Central Mindanao (ERRCM) with the ARMM regional government, conducted an assessment for 46 return sites of the IDPs in the province of Maguindanao who were victims of the armed conflict between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2008.

ERRCM is under the Strengthening Response to Internal Displacement in Mindanao (STRIDE) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) of which the ARMM leadership will be tasked to implement twelve (12) projects for Maguindanao and six (6) in Lanao del Sur.

ERRC head, Suharto Abas said that the program aims to help strengthen conflict-affected communities for their recovery and stabilize their socio-economic situation for a sustainable period.

He also said that the project, which started last January until December 2012, has a budget of 4 Million Euros of which 60% is allotted to projects to be implemented in ARMM and 40% will be for projects to be implemented in North Cotabato and Lanao del Norte by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

Abas said that the program includes housing projects, house repairs, water and sanitation facilities, construction of health centers, education facilities and provision of quick impact livelihood.

Communities will be qualified as beneficiaries if 70% of their population was displaced by the GRP-MILF armed-conflict and 50% of the displaced population had already returned to the community. (AGM-BPI/RVC-PIA9 BaSulTa)

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