ARMM communities receive farm equipment

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    COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Officials released Wednesday 10 hand tractors and eight ambulances to different beneficiaries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

    The hand tractors, chemical sprayers and other farm equipment were distributed to organized farming groups in isolated towns in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur that were hit by Typhoon Pablo early this month.

    John Magno, chief of staff of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, said the hand tractors were procured with allocations from the special purpose funds (SPF) of Hataman’s office.

    Magno, Hataman’s cabinet secretary, Khal Mambuay-Campong, lawyer Anwar Malang, who is the ARMM’s executive secretary, and the regional agriculture secretary, Marites Maguindra, jointly led the turnover of the farming equipment, along with rice and corn seeds, to recipients in a symbolic rite here.

    Maguindra said the hand tractors and other farming inputs they distributed would hasten the recovery of peasant communities ravaged by Typhoon Pablo.

    More than 10,000 families in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur were dislocated by floods, landslides and the sudden rise of water levels in big rivers straddling through many areas in the two provinces as a result of the typhoon.

    Hataman and the ARMM’s regional health secretary, ophthalmologist Kadil Sinolinding Jr., also facilitated the same day the release of eight ambulances to hospitals in the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

    Sulu got six of the brand new ambulances while two units were dispersed to Tawi-Tawi.

    Hataman said the ambulances were purchased out of the Transition Investment Stimulus Program or TISP, which is intended to hasten the socio-economic and political empowerment of Moro sectors in the ARMM to complement Malacañang’s Southern peace process.

    “We are very grateful to President Benigno Aquino III. We’ve been seeing the launching of so many projects funded by TISP in the autonomous region lately,” Hataman said.

    Hataman dubbed as “pro-people” all of their on-going socio-economic projects, either financed by funds from the ARMM coffer or bankrolled by the TISP.

    Sinolinding and provincial officials of Sulu, led by Gov. Hadji Sakur Tan, officiated early this month the ceremonial groundbreaking for the TISP-assisted construction of a district hospital in Maimbung town in the island province.

    The construction of the hospital, on a private land donated by the family of Gov. Tan, is a joint initiative of Sulu Rep. Habib Tupay Loong and the Hataman administration.

    Hataman said the hospital, once opened, will hasten the delivery of services to thousands of Tausog and Samah villagers in Maimbung and surrounding municipalities

    Residents in the area, bereft of a hospital, have to evacuate overland patients to Jolo, capital town of Sulu, for hospitalization and other medical needs.


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