ARMM govt allots P132.5M for infra projects in Al-Barka, Basilan
Al-Barka, Basilan (March 28, 2017) – Al-Barka town in Basilan province, a former stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group, will benefit from P132.5-million worth of infrastructure projects from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Al-Barka, with 26,000 residents in 16 villages, is a conflict-affected area for many years.
Soler Undug, Basilan’s district engineer said the infrastructure projects include a seven-kilometer road, several water systems, and bridges.”This is to help improve conditions in conflict-affected areas in the province,” Undug said.
Official data showed from 2012 to 2017, the ARMM government has earmarked a total of P887-million worth of infrastructure projects in Basilan.
“Ninety percent of this allocation went to road projects,” Undug added. This town’s residents experienced displacements and destruction of properties due to the massive military operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said during People’s Day that was held here on March 27.
The military has overran the Abu Sayyaf camp in the first week of March. “Lahat naman ng munisipalidad sa ARMM ay binibigyan natin ng mga proyekto pero itong lugar ng Al-Barka, ang mga conflict-affected areas, ay isa sa mga priority natin ngayon,” Gov. Hataman said.
“Masaya kami kasi ilang taon na kami nabuhay sa kaguluhan, ngayon unti-unti ng naaayos. Ang dami pang proyekto na binibigay sa amin,” Sarifa Anzala, a local resident said. Anzala, a 51-year-old living in Barangay Kailih shared that the efforts of the regional and provincial governments help improve the lives of the people in Basilan.
“Dahil sa tagal na nasanay na ako sa kaguluhan, napakasaya ko na po na makita na maraming tao dito sa lugar namin, maraming nagbibigay ng serbisyo at tulong. Para sa amin, napakalaking bagay yun,” Anzala said.
Mayor Darussalam Lajid of Al-Barka said can see the improvements in his town and it is because of continuous efforts of the regional government.
Since 2012, ARMM has allocated a total of P7.865 billion for infrastructure projects. This year, a total of P2.207 billion has been earmarked for the region’s infrastructure program. (Bureau of Public Information)