PRESENT and former agriculture officials turned over initial agricultural equipment and materials to the farmers of six previously acknowledged Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps in Maguindanao and Lanao provinces last week
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala led the service presentation ceremony of the farmers’ assistance program with former DA secretary and Philippine government (GPH) peace panel member Senen Bacani at the Bangsamoro Leadership Management Institute in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
The program is an initial confidence-building measure under the Bangsamoro peace process with the end in view of transforming these areas into peaceful and productive communities.
The initiative was organized by the Task Force Camps Transformation (TFCT), in partnership with the DA-Farmer’s Assistance Program and is part of the normalization process stipulated under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the MILF and the Philippine government.
Among the equipment and materials that were turned over to farmers in the MILF-acknowledged communities are six units of heavy-duty 90HP farm tractor with complete accessories; six (6) units of cassava grater; three units of hand tractor; 1200 bags of palay seeds and fertilizer; and 1200 bags of OPV corn seeds and fertilizer.
Also part of the assistance are planting materials such as 300 pieces of assorted rambutan, lanzones, jackfruit seedlings; and 300 pieces coffee, achuete, and guyabano seedlings.
Eighteen carabaos will also be turned over for distribution to local farmers in conflict-affected areas.
In addition, certificates of commitment were also given during the event for the upcoming delivery of 16 units of non-motorized bancas; 160 units of fish traps or "baliyat"; 12 modules of goats (one module is composed of 4 female goats and one male goat); 18 heads of cattle; 6 units of corn sheller; 6 units of corn mill. Said equipment and farm animals will be turned over to local beneficiaries in a span of two to three months.
These areas are in the vicinity of former MILF Camp Abubakar as-Siddique, Camp Badre, and Camp Omar ibn al-Khattab in Maguindanao; Camp Rajamuda in North Cotabato and Maguindanao; Camp Bilal in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur; and Camp Busrah Somiorang in Lanao del Sur.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) Governor MujivSabbihiHataman, Armm Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia, Bangsamoro Development Agency Executive Director Mohammad Suib Yacob, Maguindanao Rep, Bai Sanda Sema, and Maguindanao 2nd District Representative Zajid Mangundadatu attended the event.
The event was also attened by some 1,000 participants, including members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) and the farmer-beneficiaries.
The implementation of such confidence-building measure is undertaken through the Joint Task Forces mandated to help transform the MILF camps into peaceful and productive communities.