Cotabato City – More than 4,000 fisherfolk in the province of Maguindanao are expected to benefit from several fisheries-based livelihood projects of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through its Humanitarian and Development Assistance Program (HDAP).
Janice Musali, executive director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-ARMM, said residents dependent on fishing from the second district of Maguindanao will be assisted with livelihood projects to “help them generate income and improve their living conditions.”
Projects on fisheries of the HDAP-ARMM are implemented by the BFAR-ARMM in 15 towns of Maguindanao. These towns are located in and around the so-called SPMS box, consisting of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona.
“Aabot ng 4,351 na fisherfolk ang makakatanggap at makikinabang ng mga proyekto natin na ipatutupad hanggang 2018,” Dir. Musali said. As of December 31, 2017, a total of 2,535 fisherfolk have already benefited from the projects.
Immediately following the Mamasapano encounter on January 25, 2015, the HDAP was drafted by the ARMM regional government. The program is an anti-poverty initiative covering barangays in 15 municipalities affected by intensified law enforcement operations launched immediately following the events in Mamasapano.
“The beneficiaries are fisherfolk affected by natural and man-made calamities, especially ‘yung mga displaced fisherfolk nung nagkaroon ng intensified law enforcement operations noong 2015,” Dir. Musali added.
Since its implementation, BFAR-ARMM has distributed a total of 162 motorized boats, 875 non-motorized boats, 4,280 cribs of fish corals, 2,000 fish pots, and 50 fish cages. These were turned over to beneficiaries in Datu Salibo, Mamasapano, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Guindulungan, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Talayan, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Rajah Buayan, and Datu Piang.
Currently, three community fish landing centers with market stalls are being constructed in the towns of Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Talitay and Datu Piang. The landing centers will house fish and fishery products, equipment and tools.
“The community will also benefit from the projects because they will have a better access to safe and quality fish commodities,” Dir. Musali added. Eight community-based hatcheries were also awarded to fishermen in Datu Piang, Datu Salibo, Mamasapano, Guindulungan, Talitay, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Rajah Buayan, and Sahriff Saydona.
Three ice plants and ice storage facilities for fisherfolk in Mamasapano, Talitay and Datu Piang are also being constructed worth more than P5 million each. The HDAP-ARMM projects being implemented by BFAR-ARMM cost about P45.29 million.
The HDAP consists of government initiatives and programs geared towards improving the living conditions of families in conflict-affected areas, and building resilient and empowered communities in a secure environment. These cover social support, livelihood programs, infrastructure, and basic social services. The regional government has allocated a total of P2.3 billion for HDAP projects. (Bureau of Public Information)
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