President Duterte Pours in Over P59 B for Projects in Mindanao, Vows to Give More in Coming Years

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    Pres Duterte Ed Ftr in Davao

    PRESIDENT DUTERTE with Muslim women.Mr. Duterte vowed to pour more funds and projects to Mindanao.

    COTABATO CITY (PhilAmPress) — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed anew to provide more funds and projects to Mindanao to be able to improve the lives of the people there and reduce poverty in the region.

    One of Duterte’s dream projects is an all Mindanao railway system which could boost the growth of the “land of promise” as the country’s food basket, among others. He discussed the project with businessmen who plan to fund the project during his state visit to China.

    Duterte, the first Philippine president who comes from Mindanao, made the pledge as he assured residents of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that he will prioritize anti-poverty programs in the region during a visit at the ARMM headquarters in Cotabato City.

    Accompanying the President were Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueño, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and TESDA Director Guiling Mamondiong.

    The Duterte administration has earmarked almost P59 billion to projects under the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA) in the ARMM and other areas affected by armed conflict in Mindanao such as Regions 9, 10 and 12 which the President launched during the visit.

    Duterte also led the ceremonial switch-on of electrification projects of the DOE and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) held at the ARMM Regional Government Compound in Cotabato City.

    Duterte also immediately granted P772,116,586 for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program.

    During his visit to the ARMM regional seat, the first Mindanao President also distributed P46 million worth of school supplies, agricultural support, and fisheries support equipment to pre-identified beneficiaries.

    Duterte visited Cotabato City, the seat of the ARMM, together with other officials during which he instructed Social Welfare Secretarty Judy Taguiwalo to ensure that programs that will uplift the lives of the people of ARMM.

    The provinces composing the ARMM are Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, which are considered among the poorest provinces in the country based on statistics provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

    Duterte pledged that the ARMM or Moroland will get equal share of the national budget to end poverty in the region.

    “I read in the statistics data that the Moro region is the poorest,” Duterte said in Filipino after spearheading the launching of Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and in Regions 9, 10 and 12.

    “I tell you, I will pour budget for Moro region,” Duterte said as the crowd applauded inside the 500-seat Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex here.

    “I want the incidence of hunger stopped,” he added. “We will find ways, even just for the food of children.”

    “I will improve the Moroland in Mindanao,” he added as the crowd, mostly Muslim leaders, roared and applauded.

    The Duterte administration is committing full support to development initiatives in the ARMM as well as in other areas affected by recent conflicts.

    President Duterte made this commitment on his fourth visit in the region since becoming the country’s 16th President. He has already visited Basilan, Sulu and Maguindanao.

    He launched the ‘Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda for ARMM and other Conflict-Affected Areas in Regions 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao) and 12 (Central Mindanao)’ along with ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and other regional and provincial officials.

    These program focuses on anti-poverty projects harnessing mainly resources from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and the Technology Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

    The TESDA chief said that he was tasked by Presidentuterte to coordinate with other agencies in solving poverty in the South.

    The projects of the CRDA include the Salintubig Program, Bottom-up Budgeting (BUB), Water Supply and Community Infrastructure, and the Roads and Bridges of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

    For the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the projects allotted for are the Reducing Vulnerability of Children from Hunger and Malnutrition in ARMM; Cash for Work for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Program; Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens; Supplemental Feeding Program; and, Sustainable Livelihood Program.

    TESDA said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) would set aside a scholarship fund under the 2017 Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) for 8,982 students from ARMM (3,473 slots); Region 9 (2,078 slots); Region 10 (2,018 slots); and Region 12 (1,413 slots).

    TESDA will also be given funds for its Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP) and Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) for residents who want to avail of skills training.

    Mamondiong said some 30,000 scholars in Region 9; 45,000 in Region 10; 30,000 in Region 12; and 60,000 in ARMM would be given financial assistance PESFA .

    The Department of Agriculture (DA), on the other hand, will provide farm equipment/machinery, rice and corn seedlings to farmer-beneficiaries.

    President Duterte vowed to end hunger or at least reduced its number by the time he ends his term. “We will pour development funds in Moro areas,” said President Duterte in the vernacular.


    Duterte also immediately granted P772,116,586 for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program.

    During his visit to the ARMM regional seat, the first Mindanao President also distributed P46 million worth of school supplies, agricultural support, and fisheries support equipment to pre-identified beneficiaries.

    “With the bulk of projects given to the region, soon the ARMM constituents will enjoy easy access to quality health care and attain good health,” Presdient Duterte said.

    Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, ARMM health secretary, said the the program is expected to upgrade health facilities and augment the number of health professionals in impoverished towns across the region.

    Out of the total allocation for the regional HFEP, P353,600,000 was allocated for health infrastructure. It includes the construction of 18 barangay health stations, 139 rural health units, and 21 local government unit hospitals.

    ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the program will help improve the delivery of healthcare services to un-served and under-served communities.

    The HFEP will also upgrade primary and secondary health facilities to accommodate nursing students and to serve as primary health care treatment centers. This will provide patients easier access to health services, while expanding the services of existing tertiary hospitals by enabling them to be teaching and training hospitals.

    The health programs form part of Duterte’s anti-poverty drive dubbed Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA).

    Sinolinding said before the comprehensive health programs, ARMM had been implementing programs aimed at improving health services to the country’s poorest provinces. He noted that in 2010, only 47 rural health units (RHUs) exist in the region.

    But the number has more than doubled within six years as 56 additional RHUs were accredited, Sinolinding said.

    “The issue on health is always a priority and is of prime importance,” Sinolinding said. “Upgraded facilities will bring quality healthcare and health services closer to the constituents,” he noted.

    Aside from the health facilities, the health department will spend up to P418,516,586 for this year to engage and deploy 1,302 nurses, midwives and physicians under the Doctors to the Barrio and Rural Health Practices Program.

    Duterte and Hataman also distributed more than P46 million worth of school supplies, agricultural support, and fisheries support equipment to pre-identified beneficiaries.

    Hataman was optimistic the delivery of basic services to Moro people will have impact on the kind of lives they are currently in.

    Duterte also led the ceremonial distribution of school supplies to pupils in of conflict-affected schools in Maguindanao.

    Dr. John Magno, ARMM education secretary, said 5,288 pupils benefited from the distribution dubbed as Support Services Education Recovery.

    Duterte also led the ceremonial distribution of P21-million worth of facilities to agrarian reform communities in the region. The assistance included 11 units of Kubota 4-wheel drive tractor; eight units of tresher/husker; four units of corn sheller; one unit of stationary corn mill; eight units of rice mill; eight units of stationary mini rice mill-double pass; and 10 units of multi-purpose shredder.

    “This is unprecedented, no President has given much attention to Moro areas than President Duterte,” Senday Gumaban, a resident from Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao and one of the beneficiaries of government assistance.

    Another beneficiary, Alambai Salman of Parang, Maguindanao, said she did not err in voting for Duterte during the May polls. “Grabe ang puso niya para sa Moro, matagal na namin ito hinintay (His heart is for Moro people, we waited this for so long),” she said of Duterte.

    The President won in all Moro provinces in Mindanao.

    “I did not simply win, I won by landslides,” Duterte said.

    Duterte said he was saddened after Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol told him a lot of farm and fishery equipment gathering dust in DA warehouses and could not be distributed to beneficiaries because they need to raise “counterpart” funds.

    “Why come up with a program for the poor that needs counterpart funding?” he asked, adding those beneficiaries don’t even have enough food to eat.

    The audience applauded when the President said: “I’ll buy more for you but please take good care of those equipment, they were bought with money from the people,” he told the people of ARMM.

    Recalling a private individual offered him campaign fund before the elections but he politely denied it, Duterte said he is reconsidering his decision to accept the P1 billion private donation “if it can be used to build hospitals Jolo” and other poor provinces.

    On-grid electrification projects include the DOE’s Nationwide Intensification of Household Electrification (NIHE) and ER 1-94 Electrification Funded Projects and NEA’s Sitio Electrification Program and Barangay Line Enhancement Program.

    For Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, a total of P 371.71 million worth of electrification projects from 2015 to 2016 will benefit some 34,238 households in the two provinces. Next year, a P 4.84 million electrification projects will benefit 166 households.

    For Tawi-Tawi, a total of P 91.62 million worth of electrification projects in 2015 to 2016 will benefit some 1,620 households. For 2017, a P18.31 million electrification project will benefit 2,263 households.

    For Basilan, a total of P 60.6 million worth of electrification projects in 2015 to 2016 will benefit 889 households in the province. For 2017, a P 2.81 million electrification project will benefit 270 households.

    And for Sulu, a total of P50.3 million worth electrification projects will benefit 2,628 households. In 2017, a P 10.88 million electrification project will benefit 1,345 households.

    For off-grid electrification, the DOE has initiated the Household Electrification Program (HEP) where electrification projects worth P610 million will be implemented by electric cooperatives in ARMM until 2017.

    Duterte and Cusi also graced the ceremonial turn-over of 30 units of photovoltaic (PV) solar home systems to ARMM.

    The DOE completed a total of 3,868 PV solar home system units in the provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu under its HEP. Next year, the DOE will deliver a total of 3,878 units of the PV solar home system in Tawi-Tawi (2,263 units), Basilan (270 units) and Sulu (1,345 units).

    The DOE also donated a total of 30 units of 30Wp PV solar home system to ARMM. This was received by ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman on behalf of household beneficiaries in the three provinces.

    The President’s last stop was the ceremonial awarding of a cheque worth P13.833 million to Maguindanao Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MAGELCO) for the implementation of the NIHE program that will benefit 3689 households within its franchise area.

    Under the NIHE program, the DOE provides assistance amounting to at least Php 3,750 as grant subsidy to each eligible household for the cost of house-wiring and additional service drops per housing unit.

    The NIHE program will be implemented by MAGELCO in the municipalities of Ampatuan, Buldon, Matanog, Barira, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Piang, North Upi, Parang, South Upi, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Sultan Sa Barongis, Rajah Buayan, Talayan, Guindulungan and Talitay.

    The cheque was received by MAGELCO General Manager, Sultan Ashary P. Maongco.

    Duterte led the ceremonial distribution of government assistance for beneficiaries of government anti-poverty programs, posing gladly with a poor family brought by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to receive the government assistance.

    During his entire speech, the President has not cursed anyone or anything, away from his previous public statements..

    He repeated his determination in winning his war on illegal drugs, end corruption in government and end poverty.

    He injected “jokes” and presented “comic lines” to the crowd’s delight.

    He ended his speech by saying in Filipino: “Pag nagsalita ako, tutuparin ko.” (PhilAmPress/PhlTodayUSA/Jo Erlinda G. Nebres/gagabytes@yahoo.com)

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