Bangsamoro Region

5 MILF base command in Lanao del Sur get mobile rice mill

By Apipa P. Bagumbaran

Presidents of the recipient-cooperatives of five MILF Base Command in Lanao del Sur show the signed usufruct agreement which sets forth their duties and responsibilities in operating the mobile rice mill as well as the role of DTI in monitoring the project. (PIA-ICIC)

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 5–Former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants in Lanao del Sur and their families are set to benefit from the national government’s livelihood and entrepreneurial projects. 

This, after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), launched on Friday, June 4, mobile rice mill projects for five MILF base command under the Northeastern Mindanao Front based in Camp Bushra Somiorang in the municipality of Butig, this province.

The recipients are 120th Base Command Madrasah Norol Hidaya Picotaan Producer Cooperative based in Lumbatan town; Bangsamoro Bushra Region Producer Cooperative 119th Base in Butig town; and 101st Base Command Robinhood Farmers and Fisherfolk Producer Cooperative, 103rd Base Command Producers Cooperative, and Insan Livelihood Service Cooperative, all based in Nusa, Balindong.

The project turnover was implemented through the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism on Normalization-Peaceful Return and Aggressive Inclusion Social Entrepreneurship (ICCMN-PRAISE), a program that seeks to boost agricultural productivity and economic development in major MILF camps and Bangsamoro communities.

Usec. Abdulgani Macatoman of DTI Special Concerns and Trade Promotions Group said the initiative is part of the national government’s sustained efforts to fulfill its commitment under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

The CAB is the final peace agreement signed by the government and the MILF in 2014 after 17 years of negotiations.

Under the Normalization track of the CAB, programs that cover the aspect of security, political participation, confidence building, transitional justice and reconciliation, socio-economic interventions, and sustainable livelihood must be implemented to uplift the lives of decommissioned MILF combatants and accelerate the transformation of MILF camps into peaceful and resilient economic zones.

Macatoman said the mobile rice mill project can create job opportunities and provide a livelihood to the recipient MILF-communities.

“Kami sa DTI, adhikain natin na makapagbigay ng maraming trabaho at makapagcreate ng maraming negosyo at kabuhayan. Ito po ay ginagawa natin para makatulong doon sa mga kapatid nating Bangsamoro na hindi makahanap ng trabaho, makapagturo ng tamang pagnenegosyo, at makapagbigay ng pangkabuhayan,” he said.

[We at DTI, aim to provide more jobs and create more entrepreneurship opportunities. We are doing this to help our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters who cannot find work, to teach them proper entrepreneurship, and provide them livelihood.]

Asec. Ameenah Fajardo of DTI Special Concerns reiterated her Department’s commitment to support efforts in fulfilling the commitments made by the government under the CAB.

“We, at DTI, make sure to find ways to help Filipinos to get back on their feet not only for themselves but also their families,” she said.

She also emphasized that the establishment and operation of the mobile rice mill will provide lucrative means of livelihood and job opportunities for MILF members in Camp Bushra.

During the project launching, the respective Presidents of the recipient-cooperatives of each base command signed a usufruct agreement which sets forth their duties and responsibilities and the role of DTI in monitoring the project. 

The signing was witnessed by Northeastern Mindanao Front commander and Member of the Parliament Basit “Jannati” Mimbantas Abbas who thanked DTI, OPAPP, and other government agencies and organizations for implementing projects under the normalization track of the peace process.

“Today is very significant and historical because this is a reflection or continuation of our noble endeavors and sacrifices to attain just and lasting peace and development  in the Bangsamoro and our country in general,” he said.

Mobile rice mill projects were also turned over to five cooperatives under Camp Bilal in Lanao del Norte on June 3.  The same project is also set to be launched on June 10  in Camp Darapanan in Simuay, Maguindanao. Philippine Information Agency

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