MILF community members thankful as relief comes to the village

THE REGION
May 8, 2020

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MUNAI, Lanao del Norte -- As a response to the request of a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) community here, the Salam Agricultural Limited Partnership, Incorporated (Salam) provided 200 sacks of quality rice to the village at Sitio Kura-kura, Barangay Tamparan, this municipality.
    Commissioner Abdullah “Bravo” Macapaar of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) stepped-up for the survival of his people by sending a request to Salam asking for any form of assistance as the whole country fights against the highly infectious coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
    This was fulfilled with the coordination of a private power company and assistance of the army troops from the 2nd Mechanized Infantry “Magbalantay” Brigade under BGen. Facundo Palafox IV.
    Neil Konrad Binayao III, external relations officer of Salam, shared that Salam management, together with partner companies in the area, mobilized resources in the form of rice which is the staple food of every Filipino family.
    “Salam has an agri-business venture inside the MILF camp; Abaca and commercial treatment station but unfortunately, because of the quarantine measures, they have to declare work stoppage that contributed to the hardships of the people in Sitio Kura-kura,” Binayao explained.
    Binayao said Salam support to provide sustainable development is the private sector’s contribution to the government’s peace efforts.
    “The company believes that in order to have lasting peace in the area there has to be sustainable and equitable development. We believe that it’s a key component towards lasting peace,” Binayao added.
    Though no one from the community is infected by COVID-19, Commissioner Macapaar admitted that the economic effects caused by the disease slowed down the development of the area as they comply with the guidelines of the government’s implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)  to protect the health of the villagers.
    This includes infrastructure projects, road concreting projects, and the production of Abaca where the residents mostly rely on their livelihood.
    Commissioner Macapaar extended his gratitude to the private sectors, local government units (LGU) and the national government for the attention they have given to MILF communities since the establishment of the BTA.
    “Ang sabi ng Presidente natin, yung kampo (MILF Camp Bilal) palitan po natin ng community ng mga Muslim - ng mga combatant. Marami na ang mga nangyayari, yung mga armas ng ating mga combatant ay pinalitan ng cash, package ng PhilHealth, 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), scholarship at iba pang mga livelihood. Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa ating Presidente,” Commissioner Macapaar expressed.
    [The President said that he will turn my camp (MILF Camp Bilal) into a Muslim community - a community for the combatants. A lot has been happening since then, the combatants’ firearms was surrendered in exchange for cash, PhilHealth package, 4Ps (Pantawin Pamilyang Pilipino Program), scholarships, and other livelihood programs. I am thankful to our President.]
    Commissioner Macapaar said that this is the fourth time the community received aid since the outbreak of the pandemic begun.
    The leader appreciated the efforts being harnessed just to push through helping them especially now that the whole Sitio celebrates the holy month of Ramadhan.
    “Alhamdulillah! Maganda ang relasyon namin sa tropa ng militar at sa lokal na pamahalaan dito. Ang sasabihin ko lang sa kapwa ko Muslim, hanggang hindi po matapos ang May 15, sana po ay manatili po tayo sa bahay kase yun ang unang gamot sa lumaganap na sakit, magbasa lang po tayo nag Qur’an,” Commissioner Macapaar relayed.
    [Alhamdulillah! So far, our relationship with the military and the government has been very cordial. My message to my fellow Muslims, until May 15, let’s remain inside our homes because it is the number one prevention against COVID-19, and let us read the Qur’an.] (CLV / PIA ICIC)


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