PRESSING ISSUES AND CONCERNS, ELUCIDATED AT MAFAR’S FIRST PROVINCIAL STRATEGIC CONSULTATION

Significant queries and concerns of agriculture, fisheries, and agrarian reform employees from the province were explicitly clarified during the first-ever “Provincial Strategic Consultation cum Site Visitation of MAFAR-BARMM that started off with the Province of Maguindanao on August 2, 2019.

Minister Mohammad S. Yacob first relayed to the provincial employees the 10-Point Agenda of the ministry giving emphasis on production support, stating as example, strengthening the irrigation system and groups of seed producers/growers, making them competitive and sustainable.  The chief enjoined the provincial staff especially those assigned in the field like the municipal agricultural officers to establish the data on the hectarage, production, consumption, and market points of primary commodities like rice.

In response to the inquiries of the provincial staff, Dr. Yacob said the budget for the separation fees shall be downloaded at once and shall be released to the recipients based on set schedules of separation. He also informed the disconcerted crowd that all are eligible for the package and that when they decide to reapply and be accepted, they just need to return at once what they have received.

The ministry chief said the implementing rules and regulations or general guidelines are yet to be released as it will be made comprehensive. According to the minister, the final structure shall be announced in October this year and roughly, there will be 3,000 plantilla positions to be filled up in MAFAR-BARMM. This means that the massive application shall happen in the said month and that what the employees need to do is to finetune their résumé.

Shedding more light, the minister informed the staff that the budget for the Bangsamoro Region that is 5% of the country’s revenue collection shall be downloaded directly to the parliament and it will not anymore pass the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the Congress.

Aimed at inspiring the personnel, Dr. Yacob tagged them as defenders and that they are soldiers, tasked to help the farmers and fishers fight and destroy “poverty”. He further said that they will be the ones at the province to implement the programs of the ministry. The roles of the regional office are to craft effective decisions, monitor, and supervise the efficacy of the implementations.

“We have struggled to change the wrong system and eventually bring the government closer to the people. We are here not to get or benefit from the services of the government but we work to convey these services to the people who need them”, Minister Yacob stressed.

The activity, that was held at the MAFAR Covered Court, followed the official courtesy meeting with Governor Bai Mariam Sangki-Mangudadatu of the Provincial Government of Maguindanao. Similar activities shall also be done in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi this August.

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