COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT — Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator Abdulghani “Gerry” A. Salapuddin (left) shares to BTA Parliament Speaker Ali Pangalian Ali M. Balindong (right) about the potential benefits of “peace villages” project to BARMM communities. (GALao with photo by ZSDiolanan)
COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is looking into possible consideration of a P200 million worth of project that will help develop and boost economic activities in the Bangsamoro communities.
The project, called the People Economic Advancement and Community (PEACE) Villages, was proposed by Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator Abdulghani “Gerry” A. Salapuddin during his courtesy visit Monday, November 25 to the Office of the Parliament Speaker, Ali Pangalian M. Balindong.
Salapuddin said the peace villages is a viable and self-sustaining socio-economic development program intended for the elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) outside of the BARMM, but can be replicated in the areas controlled by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Tungawan, a proposed community, is located in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, which is not part of BARMM but a Muslim dominated community.
Furthermore, he added there are also proposed peace villages inside the MILF camps in partnership with the BARMM. At present, there is an administered peace village property located within the SPDA Wao-Bumbaran areas in Lanao del Sur.
In line with the mission of peace in Zamboanga peninsula, SPDA has previously conducted initial consultation meeting with the municipal government of Tungawan.
Accordingly, the peace villages will provide beneficiaries with homes and livelihood programs such as agriculture, aquaculture and commercial.
The prospective and potential plants and crops that may be planted in the idle lands are bana grass, ube, banana, coffee robusta, hydrophonic gardening, cassava, fruit-bearing trees, dress making for ready-to-wear, handicraft, printing shop and souvenir item, and fish caging (aquaculture).
In addition, the prospect peace village infrastructures and support facilities include an administration center, masjid or a mosque, a stage and an open space in the middle of peace village center, a multi-purpose center, training and skills development center, entrepreneurial and livelihood center, fabrication and repair shop, tourism and cultural, farmer’s cooperative store and market center, women and child minding, education, access roads to barangays, education and scholarship component, teachers/ ustadz building, dormitel and guest building, engine and power building, warehouses, cold storage and packaging department, standard and quality control department, safety and security department, human resources and training department, monitoring office of the government inter-agency task force (OGIA TF), field office and training center of the multinational agricultural companies, medical department, and the senior citizens department.
Salapuddin, a former three-term congressman, governor of Basilan and former top MNLF commander, said the project speaks for itself and for what it means and stands for.
“The project stands very clearly and that is what exactly this pilot project wants to achieve,” Salapuddin said.
For his part, Balindong said they look into the possibility of realizing the project in the region since it is a big boost to uplift the lives of the people from various Bangsamoro communities.
“The project is very similar to what we are doing now with the MILF communities following the decommissioning of the former MILF combatants,” Balindong stressed. (GALao, Communications & Media Unit, BTA Parliament)
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