Productivity growth seen as more infra projects develop in ARMM

John Unson - Philstar.com

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Local leaders are sure of a rise in productivity of peasant communities if the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) can accomplish its 2016 infrastructure goals as programmed.

Records obtained Thursday from state auditors and ARMM’s public works department indicated explicitly that the office of the region’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, had constructed a thousand kilometers of both concreted and paved roads from 2013 to 2015.

The accomplishment matrix included rehabilitation of old, almost impassable roads past ARMM governors neglected.

Hataman and his regional public works secretary, engineer Don Mustapha Loong, on Thursday both said more projects will be implemented in 2016 by district engineers in the region’s eight congressional districts and municipal governments awarded with infrastructure grants under an “administration implementation scheme.”

Besides its road projects in the past three years, the Hataman administration also constructed during the period dozens of post-harvest facilities, covered courts, barangay halls and small market buildings in 153 selected barangays covered by the regional government’s Health, Education, Livelihood and Protection Synergy (HELPS) initiative.

Baintan Adil-Ampatuan, ARMM’s regional planning director, on Thursday said the regional government will expand the HELPS program to 100 more barangays in 2016.

Hataman has called on civil society organizations and media outfits in the autonomous region to help monitor his administration’s infrastructure and HELPS intervention efforts for 100 more barangays this year.

Loong on Monday led local leaders in inaugurating the P59 million worth, 6.8-kilometer newly-concreted Tapayan-Dagurungan-Simuay Coastal Road in Sultan Mastura town in Maguindanao, one of dozens implemented in the province in recent months via ARMM-LGU tie-up initiatives.

Documents, video clips and drone aerial photos supplied by Loong’s office showed that private contractors had also implemented in the past three years dozens more of projects in other towns in ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao, and in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Elected municipal officials and barangay leaders in Sultan Mastura had told reporters they expect the productivity of local peasant and fishing communities in Maguindanao to improve with more roads and other infrastructure projects the Hataman administration will implement in 2016.

Loong said the regional government is focused on more road projects in 2016.

Among these roads projects is the coastal arterial network that would connect the seaside barangays in Datu Blah Sinsuat town, in the western coast of Maguindanao, to the nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat municipality in the same province.

“We are very grateful to Gov. Hataman and Secretary Loong for this project,” said Mayor Marshall Sinsuat of Datu Blah Sinsuat.

Local officials in Sultan Mastura told reporters the newly-concreted 6.8-kilometer Tapayan-Dagurungan-Simuay Coastal Road will hasten the mobility of peasants whose enclaves are traversed by the thoroughfare.

“It will also provide fisherfolks in Simuay area easy access to markets where they can sell their daily catch from the Moro Gulf,” Loong said.

Hataman, Loong and engineer Nash Ebrahim, chief of Maguindanao’s first District Engineering Office, have programmed the construction soon of a water system and a small port in Sultan Mastura’s adjoining Barangays Solon and Simuay, respectively.

“I don’t have problem with how Maguindanao’s first District Engineering Office is handling our projects in the first district of Maguindanao,” Hataman said.












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