SULU – Governor Sakur Tan has told municipal mayors to prepare their respective development plans so the provincial government can submit these early to the national and regional governments to ensure “greater probability of inclusion” of the list of proposed infrastructure projects and other programs in Sulu.
Tan, who recently met with local government officials and other stakeholders at the Capitol, said municipal mayors should come up with a 10-year, P1-billion development program which would be submitted to the Department of Public Works and Highways. And another three-year, P1-billion development plan to be submitted to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
He said all these development plans must be submitted in September.
Agri, Fishery projects
Tan said Minister Mohammad Yacub, of the BARMM Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform, visited Sulu recently and they discussed cooperation in creating projects and programs which will provide livelihood opportunities to the community. Yacub assured Tan of BARMM’s support to the provincial projects, especially in the agriculture and fishery sectors.
Tan told Yacub that poverty remains the biggest problem in Sulu, one of 5 provinces under the BARMM, one of the poorest regions in the country.
“We must address poverty, not the symptoms, but the root cause of poverty,” Tan said, adding, “agriculture and fisheries are of vital importance in Sulu which is surrounded by waters, and it will contribute a lot in our goal of poverty alleviation and to the overall development of the province.”
Yacub said they are planning to organize farmers, communities, cooperatives and develop programs that will enhance productivity for a sustainable and adequate income for them. “We hope to partner with the local governments and with your leadership Governor Tan, working together, strengthening cooperation, we can improve the state of agriculture and fisher sectors in Sulu,” he said.
Tan suggested the regular holding of skills and livelihood trainings by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to capacitate them and the integration of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) Program.
PAMANA is the national government’s convergence program that extends development interventions to isolated, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, ensuring that they are not left behind.
The program is anchored on the government’s strategy of winning the peace by forging strategic partnerships with national agencies in promoting convergent delivery of goods and services, and addressing regional development challenges in conflict-affected and vulnerable areas.
Yacub said he will inform the BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and Cabinet ministers of the matters discussed and proposed during the consultations and meetings here.
Tan said: “A holistic approach, connecting existing but separate programs of government is important to attain peace and development, and progress that will benefit the people, particularly the poor and marginalized sector of the community.”
He also expressed his sentiments on the impending displacement of “organic personnel” of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which was dissolved and taken over by BARMM following a referendum. “Kawawa naman sila. They have the experience and capacity. Sayang naman at maraming mawawalan ng trabaho,” Tan said.
Tan also assured Yacub’s group of Sulu’s support to BARMM leadership. “A productive economy, peaceful community, pagtulungan natin at aangat tayo,” Tan said. (Zamboanga Post)
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