Maguindanao town gets classrooms from WB, computers from ARMM PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 January 2014 11:43

A group of Ilonggo and Cebuano parents in North Upi town in Maguindanao now boasts of having built a two-classroom building, where children of farmers are to study computer literacy, as a community initiative that brought them closer to each other.

Josephine Larios, president of the multi-sectoral People’s Organization (PO) in Barangay Kabakaba in the east of North Upi, said they are grateful to the World Bank, which bankrolled the school building project through the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Social Fund Project (ASFP).

North Upi, located in the first district of Maguindanao, is the top corn producer in the province and touted as the area’s most peaceful municipality.

Larios said the newly built two-classroom building at the Kabakaba Elementary School was built, along with two solar dryers in nearby farming enclaves, by community members themselves.

Larios said they started constructing the building in the middle of 2013 and finished the project just recently.

The ASFP poured in P898,000 for the school building project, while the office of North Upi Mayor Ramon Piang provided a P100,000 counterpart.

“We learned how to manage a community project such as this because were given the chance to implement it by ourselves. It was through the cooperation of our group that we have accomplished the project,” Larios said.

The newly constructed school building also has an 800-liter stainless steel rain water catchment facility and a latrine.

“Our pupils are assured of clean supply of water now,” Merly Carugda, teacher-in-charge of the Kabakaba Elementary School, said in Filipino.

While Kabakaba is a small farming community where most residents are “subsistence farmers,” it had produced many academic professionals who are now gainfully employed, either as government employees, as teachers, as soldiers, and policemen.

More than 80 percent of the farmers in the area rely mainly on corn farming as their main source of income.

Carugda said it was so fascinating to see parents come together to the campus to construct the school building. Carugda and Larios both acknowledged the support of the local government unit of North Upi in implementing the project.

The ASFP is the conduit for World Bank’s projects in the autonomous region. It also has dozens of World Bank-assisted projects, designed to address poverty and underdevelopment, in the ARMM provinces of Lanao del Sur, which is in Central Mindanao, and in the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The ASFP’s manager, Abba Kuaman, said he was elated with how the multi-sectoral POs have religiously been implementing the World Bank assisted projects in far-flung areas in the autonomous region.

The ASFP operates under the ministerial supervision of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

Larios and her companions in the Kabakaba PO had just built tables for the six units of computers the ARMM’s Department of Education promised to provide soon.

The computers will be kept in the newly-built two-classroom building, the only one in the campus with protective metal grills on its windows.

“These computers will be a big boost to our efforts for our pupils to become at par with grade school pupils in more developed areas in Mindanao,” Carugda said.