MILLIONS-WORTH OF FARM AND DRINKING WATER FACILITIES TURNED OVER TO ARBs IN GSK PENDATUN, MAGUINDANAO
For years, hundreds of farmers in a rice producing village in the town of General Salipada K. Pendatun in Maguindanao Province used to dry their rice produce using mats made of dried pandan and palm leaves. Their children needed to go the next barangay to take a bath and dress up before they could go to school. Recounted by ABC President Abraham P. Masukat, these situations used to distress the residents of the village aside from enduring the recurring flood and muddy roads.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR-BARMM) has somehow addressed these problems on the availability of postharvest and clean water facilities with the turnover of three units of solar dryers and six units of Level 1 potable water system that are almost five-million peso worth.
To directly benefit the GSKP Estate Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) with 114 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs), the turnover activity was conducted on July 17, 2019 in Barangay Upper Lasangan of GSK Pendatun. The actual turnover was done with the signing of the Certificates of Sub-Project Acceptance between MAFAR-BARMM Minister Dr Mohammad S. Yacob and GSKP Municipal Mayor Rafsanjani P. Ali and between the latter and the Chairman of Barangay Lasangan ARB Cooperative Mastura S. Odin.
Four witnesses, in the persons of Engr. Anuar P. Acop, National Project Coordinator of CPMU, DAR-IARCDSP; Engr. Tommy M. Biruar, CE, OIC-PARPO and PPM, IARCDSP; Engr. Racma S. Usman, Municipal Engineer; and Manuel K. Kadayunan, MARPO-GSKP, Maguindanao, also affixed their signature in the certificates of turnover.
The ministry turned over the said facilities to the LGU to ensure their continued commitment in helping the farming ARBs. The local government has approved and paid 50% of the total sub-project cost of Php 4,514,000.00. The other 50% was granted by the Italian Government through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation under the project called “Italian Assistance to Agrarian Reform Community Development Support Project (IARCDSP) with then Department of Agrarian Reform.
PARPO Biruar said that under the Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) scheme, the total scope of the ARC is 310 hectares and out of these, the working scope or cultivated land for rice is 300 hectares or 98%. The turned over drying pavements are located in the midst of these rice farmlands.
Minister Yacob thanked the Italian government for its fund support and the municipal government for complementing to ensure the project completion to fully benefit the community of farmers. He remarked that these people became real farmers when they were given these lands under the Agrarian Reform Program. He encouraged the ARB recipients to show their gratitude and commitment to the donor and the government by sustaining the project. “We are here to support the municipal government; this is the beginning of our journey under Bangsamoro Regional Government in Muslim Mindanao as we came with the slogan “Let us bring the government to the people”, Minister Yacob stated.
Mayor Ali responded by expressing his unceasing gratitude to the Italian Aide for their support to the residents of the town and encouraged the group to sustain the communication and collaboration among them to maintain the prevailing peace and to make the project progressive.
To be completed in 2020, the project with the Italian donor also has sub-projects such as graveling of 2.3-km Upper Lasangan farm to market road (FMR) with flood control, rehabilitation of 2-km FMR, construction of level 2 potable water system, construction of warehouse, and construction of 1.7-km FMR with approved budget of Php41.5M from Loan Proceeds (LP) and Government of the Philippines (GOP).