COTABATO CITY, Sept. 21 (PNA) — Administrative and public works officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Monday visited vital infrastructure projects in Maguindanao to ensure smooth implementation of government projects in conflict-affected communities in the province.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said most of the more than Php100 million infrastructure projects are in areas where Moro rebels and government forces used to fight each other.
“These projects will clearly show the government’s resolve to develop far flung communities in the province,” Hataman said of the projects in what the Army described as “Shariff Aguak, Pagatin, Mamasapano and Datu Salibu” (SPMS) box. These are adjoining towns where the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operate and now being developed.
Hataman and Sec. Don Mustapha Loong, DPWH-ARMM regional secretary, visited some of the projects in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Monday.
The village was the living witness to a bloody encounter in January this year where government forces put down Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias “Marwan,” long wanted by Philippine and US governments for his involvement in terrorism in Southeast Asia.
ARMM officials also visited road projects in Barangay Baital, Raja Buayan, Maguindanao.
“The road leading to the historic Mamasapano is now paved but the concrete foot bridge to replace the wooden bridge is expected to be completed soon,” Hataman told reporters.
The DPWH-ARMM has been using drone technology and satellite-based geo-tagging system to monitor the progress of development of infrastructure projects.
Under a fast monitoring system, Hataman said workers have no time to relax and go remiss in the performance of their duties and ensure the completion of projects as scheduled.
Aside from roads and bridges, DPWH-ARMM is also implementing school building projects jointly implemented by the government public works and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.
Water facilities in poor communities are also sprouting like mushrooms to the delight of villagers.
These projects are included in the ARMM Education, Livelihood and Peace Synergy (ARMM-HELPS) program of the regional government.
Mayor Zamsamin Ampatuan of Rajah Buayan town lauded the inclusion of his municipality in the HELPS program. A school was built in Barangay Baital.
Besides, ARMM-HELPS also built a multi-purpose covered court, a market, barangay hall and donated a farm tractor which the farmers’ organizations now use.
“These assistance will help farmers become more productive,” Hataman said. (PNA)