DEVELOPMENT projects worth 49.7 million pesos in an area of indigenous peoples (IP) started in Maguindanao on June 14.
Minister Melanio Ulama of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said the projects aim to erase the misconception that IPs are second-class voters in the region.
“It is about bringing the government closer to the people and that all have equal access to government services, as BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim has repeatedly emphasized,” Ulama said.
He added that the Special Development Fund (SDF) projects will include a one-story tribal hall (P7.2-M), a public market (P9-M), a warehouse and a solar dryer (P1.5-M). ) and 50 units. a basic shelter with level 2 solar lighting and water system (P32-M).
The projects will be constructed in Kabinge Village of Datu Saudi Ampatuan City, a known ancestral land of Teduray PAs in the province.
“These projects show that our IPs are receiving government services equal to those of all other residents of BARMM,” Ulama said, noting that communities of IPs affected by armed conflict are among the beneficiaries.
Ulama said the projects should be completed before the end of the year.
At the same time, a hydraulic infrastructure project was installed for the benefit of more than 600 people from 200 households. The water project will prevent the threat of contracting waterborne diseases after the Department of Land Reform (DAR) handed over the Community Managed Drinking Water Sanitation and Hygiene (CPWASH) project in the town of Libungan, north of Cotabato.
DAR has provided Kitubod village, the most remote community of Libungan, with a biosand filter, biogas digester and rainwater harvester with iron removal filter under the CPWASH project for a cost of about 160,000 pesos.
Charish Paña, provincial land reform program officer 2, said the CPWASH project provides low-cost, culturally acceptable and appropriate technologies to address concerns about water supply, sanitation and hygiene in areas. where access to drinking water is poor, such as the village of Kitubod.
Paña added that with these interventions, the DAR anticipates a positive change in the lives of residents and an improvement in the community in the future.
Kitubod Village Chairman Lucsim Ando expressed his gratitude to DAR for bringing the CPWASH project to his village which will benefit the locals immeasurably.
“We have a lot of experiences with water-related diseases here in our barangay (village) because we don’t have access to clean water,” Ando said.
Ando pointed out that residents mainly rely on deep wells, hand pumps and rainwater as their source of drinking water, even though they know it is not safe to drink. He also added that even though there are already incidences of amoebiasis, typhoid fever and other water-related diseases, they have no choice but to use it to survive their activities. daily.
He also thanked the mayor of Libungan, Aris Yu, for the support of the local government by providing equity to the project in the amount of 60,000 pesos which was used for the purchase of additional building materials.
The DAR has also trained 10 para-engineers in the community who will facilitate the replication of the bio-sand filter and biogas digester.
CPWASH Project Regional Contact Point Mustafa Bituanan said the bio-sand filter is made of a plastic container with carefully selected sand and gravel that acts as a filter for bacteria, iron and other impurities that make the water drinkable.
Bituanan added that the biogas filter is a technology that uses animal waste as a source of gas when decomposed, which could be used as a substitute for liquefied petroleum gas for cooking.
In addition, DAR installed the rainwater harvester and iron filter at Kitubod Primary School, providing drinking water to 330 students and 13 teachers.