ARMM advocates peace through infra projects in Mamasapano town
MAGUINDANAO - The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said it continues to advocate for peace in the region through infrastructure projects that would respond to the needs of the residents of Mamasapano town, scene of deadly clashes between police and rebel forces in Maguindanao province. ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman reiterated that infrastructure projects are also a key to wiping poverty in Mamasapano. The encounter between government forces andMoro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapanoon January 25, 2015 had been horrific for local villagers, but the tragedy become an opportunity for the government to respond to the community’s needs. A series of site inspections were conducted to continually identify the needed services of the community for education, health services, and other community welfare services such as water supply and road networks. To help Mamasapano residents improve their lives, the regional government earmarked P667 million for infrastructureand high-impact projects.These projects provide greater impacts in the community including:
opportunity for economic growth and community connectivity through intra-barangay and inter-barangay roads;
job opportunities for construction workers;
better education and learning experiences through school building projects;
greater access to government services through community health centers; and
lesser threat of water-borne and sanitation caused diseases through water sanitation and water supply projects, among others.
Different programs and instrumentalities of the ARMM government have poured investments in conflict-inflicted towns such as the ARMM’s Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (ARMM-HELPS), and ARMM’s Humanitarian and Development Action Plan (ARMM-HDAP). ARMM-HELPS is a convergence initiative of the regional government and is regarded as the centerpiece of the Hataman administration. In Mamasapano alone, ARMM-HELPS implemented various projects in Barangay Tukanalipao and Barangay Libutan. In Barangay Tukanalipao, projects worth roughly P8 million were completed, including construction of health center, water sanitation, barangay hall, community learning center and solar drier. While in Barangay Libutan, P9-million worth of projects are still on-going such as the renovation of a health center, construction of barangay hall, market, water system, and community learning center. To date, the construction of one storey two-classroom units in Hadji Kalaing Elementary School and Hadji Salik Kalaing National High School as well as the construction of Tukanalipao footbridge and concreting of Tukanalipao access road has been completed. “Other infrastructure projects in Mamasapano are still on-going,” Engr. James Mlok, head of ARMM’s 2nd district engineering office said. Anwar Upahm, ARMM-HELPS executive director, said Governor Hataman wants an increase not only in infrastructure investments in Mamasapano but also livelihood programs. “Due to the incident, the governor together with the concerned line agencies formulated a comprehensive plan that will immediately aid the needs of the people in the area. It encompasses not just Mamasapano but also its neighboring areas,” said Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Regional Planning and Development Office executive director and ARMM- HDAP project manager. The ARMM-HDAP primarily focuses on providing humanitarian assistance and various government initiatives relative to development such as livelihood, infrastructure, health facilities, education, and others. (Bureau of Public Information)