ARMM seeks bigger 2015 ARMM for infra, agri thrusts PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 September 2014 14:35

Almost half of the proposed P25 billion budget for 2015 of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is intended for infrastructure projects designed to hasten the connectivity of peasants and fisherfolks to market centers and generate more livelihood opportunities for local sectors.

Congress is now deliberating the proposed ARMM budget for next year.

Makmod Mending, Jr., regional agriculture secretary of ARMM, said the broadened infrastructure thrusts of the regional government next year will benefit region’s agriculture and fisheries sectors.

The share of the ARMM’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries from the proposed 2015 budget of the region is P430 million, according to Mending.

He said they are banking on their budget for next year to sustain activities needed to hasten the restoration of normalcy in conflict and calamity-stricken areas in ARMM’s five component provinces.

Mending said P105 million from their P430-million 2015 budget is intended for maintenance and other operating expenses.

He said the remaining P230 million is earmarked for salaries of employees assigned in the regional office of DAF-ARMM and those in the provinces.

For most DAF-ARMM employees, their 2015 budget is still small if they are to maximize community interventions needed to hasten the recovery of peasant communities from conflicts and calamities.

Some areas in ARMM were ravaged in months past by internecine conflicts involving government forces and the outlawed Abu Sayyaf and the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

More than half of Maguindanao’s 36 towns have also been flooded recently due to heavy rains which caused nearby swamps and rivers to swell and overflow to low-lying barangays.

Last month’s flashfloods that hit Maguindanao towns close to the oft-flooded Liguasan Delta destroyed close to P20 million worth of rice and corn crops.

Mending said they just have to enforce stringent measures in the handling of state funds to ensure the continuity of socio-economic programs complementing the establishment before 2016 of a new Bangsamoro government to replace ARMM.

The creation of the Bangsamoro government through the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law, which is now in Congress, is part of a political deal stipulated in the March 27, 2014 peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Mending said they are thankful to two outfits of the United Nations (UN), the World Food Program and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Office, for continuously assisting the ARMM government in its agricultural programs for underdeveloped Moro communities in the region.

“We are now doing the necessary groundwork needed to prepare the Moro, Christian and lumad agricultural sectors for the coming in of the Bangsamoro government,” Mending said.

DAF-ARMM is one of the ARMM’s five busiest and top performing agencies in the ARMM, which include the region’s public works, health, education and social welfare departments.