DA9 holds first Sajahatra Bangsamoro program livelihood assistance in Tungawan PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:12

High value crops and Livestock support were among the services extended to the initial 100 beneficiaries of the Sajahatra Bangsamoro normalization program in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Assistant Secretary and National Rice and Corn program director Edilberto De Luna lead the community livelihood support distribution in barangay Datu Tumaggong in the municipality of Tungawan on Tuesday.

During the distribution ceremony, ASec De Luna said that there are 10 identified communities where DA would be providing livelihood assistance projects.  Barangay Datu Tumanggong in Tungawan, ZSP is the first area. “This is only an initial assistance, we will not stop here. In the process of transition, we will also provide value chain and marketing support for all the agriculture production that you will be given. We hope that there will be true partnership between the government and the MILF.  The livelihood component would be our priority, especially to provide safe food for all.” De Luna also reiterated that with the advent of technology today, he encouraged the beneficiaries to use all forms of communication to get in touch with the agriculture department for any issue that may arise regarding the assistance provided to them.

Aside from these initiatives, De Luna also mentioned that for the year 2014, a 2km Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) in barangay Datu Tumaggong would also be established through the partnership agency between DA and the partment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). He said, “The Sajahatra program have also other components like health and education which are implemented by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and  Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation  (PhilHealth).  The DA supports   the livelihood component for economic growth.”

DA Region IX Sajahatra Bangsamoro focal person Marissa Mohammad also explained that the normalization program aims to support Bangsamoro areas in terms of livelihood and infrastructure. “It is providing for basic services to uplift the livelihood aspect of the MILF communities; in Zamboanga Sibugay province, the Peoples Organization of “Peace-Loving People of Datu Tumanggong” was identified as the beneficiary.” The livelihood intervention included the following as initial deliverables to the community: 1,000 pcs coffee seedlings, 45 heads chicken, 3,400 grams of assorted vegetable seeds (ampalaya, eggplant, squash, okra, string beans, pechay , and  patola, 11 heads goat and two  heads carabao with plow to be delivered on September 4 as part of the commitment of DA region 9. “Sajahatra Bangsamoro was derived from a Malay-Bahasa term for peace and prosperity with blessing.” Mohammad said.

Also present during the ceremonial distribution of livelihood support were OPAPP Asec Howard Cafuguan, MILF-PMT Dr. Taugan S. Kikay, representatives from the Sajahatra JFCO, DA Central Office directors, DA regional office Director Constancio G.  Alama, Datu Tumanggong Brgy Chair Salam Lanuan, and the  Tungawan municipal agriculturist office.