Akbar grateful to US gov’t for continued support PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:49

ISABELA CITY – Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar said she is thankful to the United States government for its continued support in terms of humanitarian and development projects in this province.

Akbar’s statement came after a closed-door meeting last Tuesday afternoon with U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr., who along with the officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) program visited this province.
Thomas said the U.S. government through the USAID, GEM Program and American troops will continue to work in coordination with their Filipino counterparts in undertaking developmental projects in this province.

This, after Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer said they will continue to undertake development projects aimed to develop this province and defeating the enemy of the government.

Akbar said she was very happy that Thomas personally visited this province to see for himself and get a first hand information on the benefits brought about by the US-funded projects in this province.

With the support from the U.S., Akbar said she foresees that one day this province will be fully developed and progressive.

Akbar noted that the U.S. government has helped construct or upgraded over 52 infrastructure projects such as roads, boat landings, bridges, port and harvest facilities, and water systems across the province.

Akbar said the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided funds to help increase food security and incomes of farmers in this province by introducing integrated farming models based on combinations of rice, corn, vegetables, coconuts, cacao, other tree crops, and animals.

The U.S. government continue to provide technical assistance to health stakeholders in 120 barangays in 10 municipalities in this province.

Eleven young people from this province have participated in a four-month, U.S.-sponsored Congressional internship program in Manila.
The U.S. government has also funded American Field Service scholarships for 24 Basilan high school
students who studied in America.

Akbar and Thomas met with the scholars after their closed-door meeting.
There were several other developmental and humanitarian projects that were implemented in this province through the support of the U.S. government, Akbar said.