ARMM turns over P8.3M worth of livelihood projects to MNLF fisherfolk
Cotabato City (April 27, 2016) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) handed over PAMANA-ARMM fisheries assistance to Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) communities in a ceremonial turnover held Tuesday at the Parang Wharf in Maguindanao.
The livelihood projects amounting to about P8.3 M include seaweeds input, motorized and non-motorized bancas, fish cages, and fishing nets. These were implemented by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-ARMM and funded through the PAMANA program’s 2014 budget amounting to more than P160 M.
The beneficiaries were represented by at least three MNLF commanders present, all of whom are leaders in cooperatives based in MNLF communities.
Michael Talib of the Kasanyangan Fishnet Producers Cooperative expressed his thanks to the regional government, especially to the regional governor, the PAMANA office, and the BFAR-ARMM. “These livelihood programs for MNLF members are an immense help for our municipality,” he said.
“As MNLF members, we promise to push for community-based initiatives especially now with these livelihood programs. Together, we will put a stop to wrong deeds and thoughts so we can live in peace, and take care of our livelihood in the process,” Talib added.
Among those present in the turnover ceremony were Commander Abdul Jabbar M. Ambal, chairman of the Darussalam Producer Cooperative based in Lanao del Sur. Their cooperative was among one of the beneficiaries who earlier received similar assistance through PAMANA.
Ambal said that they are grateful for the banca and fishnets they received, along with other fishing implements. “This is the first time that this many livelihood programs reached the MNLF communities as part of the 1996 peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front,” he said.
“In Lanao alone, more than 40 cooperatives were given livelihood programs. Imagine how many beneficiaries there are, with about 100 members in every cooperative. Even the children of MNLF combatants were give assistance as scholars, thanks to the regional and national government. Many of us are experiencing livelihood programs amounting to millions of pesos for the first time, thanks to Regional Governor Hataman’s leadership,” Ambal said.
Other beneficiaries were also present. These include the BS Costal MNLF Multi-Purpose Cooperative represented by Abdullawi H. Ebrahim and the Fisherfolks Peace and Development Association represented by Taib Aragasi.
The turnover program was headed by Engr. Dong Anayatin, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Concerns and PAPMO program manager, together with Elaine Josephine Basco, Project Development Officer of OPAPP-PAMANA Central Mindanao, and Johnell Raneses, area manager for OPAPP-Central Mindanao. BFAR-ARMM Director Janice Musali was represented by Datun Nur, provincial fisheries officer for Maguindanao. (Bureau of Public Information)