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Monday, 06 June 2022 03:16

The women, widows and orphans of Buliok Complex, 17 years after the 2003 war

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PIKIT, SGA-BARMM/ JUNE 6, 2022. Talking about life in Buliok, Pikit of the Special Geographical Areas of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Saida Abdulrahman, 45 cannot help but cry. Five years ago, her husband, a combatant was shot to death leaving his family of six.

Together with six other women in the village, whom we spoke with during our visit on May 3, 2022, Saida shared to us their living condition before BARMM.

“Before, we do not get assistance frequently compare to present days, now that we are part of the BARMM”, Saida told.  

“We are grateful for the BARMM. We have received many help from them. As a widow, I received monetary assistance, from which I bought goats for raising to augment our livelihood. Our family is also a recipient of food supply as flood-affected community”, she added.

Musrifa Sandigan, 33 is a former OFW. She returned home during the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein the situation was hard.

“I am lucky that I was among those who benefited from the land ambulance that fetched from the airport”, Musrifa stated.

The said ambulance is from the Ministry of Health (MOH-BARMM) funded through the Office of the Parliament Member Hon. Ali O. Salik.

As a former OFW, Musrifa likewise received cash aid from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member Salik through the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD).

Gemma Caludin, 50, from Antique embraced life in Brgy. Buliok years ago, when she met her husband in Manila. They got married and went home in Buliok. They have three kids. The husband is among the decommissioned combatants of the MILF.

The family of Monera Milog, 37, is a beneficiary of the cash for work program of the MSSD in 2021 with the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Buliok. The project is the construction of dyke that helped to the flood control in the area.

Noraida Mangagi, 47, has six children whom sustained through farming. Sarina, 40, is also a mother, with three children. The family rely on farming and fishing for living.

Monera Tumampal, 55, was emotional while sharing the story of the death of her child away from home in year 2021.

Accordingly, for some reason, local authorities from the place of incident would not give the cadaver of her child. Through the help of MP Salik, with the use of the ambulance, the family was able to bring home the body and was given a proper burial based on Islamic tradition. 

These women are all beneficiary of the assistance from BARMM and the Office of MP Salik such as the food supply, cash assistance, road project, medical aid, land ambulance, school building, others.

The infamous Buliok, is a historical place popularly known as Buliok Complex, a war that happened in February 2003. It was where the late chairman of the MILF Hashim Salamat (May Allah have mercy on him) was doing a preach outdoor during the Eid’l Adha (feast of Sacrifice) prayer when they were attacked by government troops that led to the that battle.  

MP Salik, recalls that after the war, Brgy. Buliok became a ghost town. “People were able to return there, more than a year after that incident”.

Now, as one of the key officials of the transitioning Bangsamoro Government, MP Salik works to help and serve the Bangsamoro communities by legislation with services at the grassroots level.

At present, the village is a recipient of one- classroom school building, one unit for the two elementary schools in the barangay; the Buliok Elementary School in Purok 3 and Dagadas ES in Sitio Dagadas, all in the same barangay, through the Transitional Development Impact Fund (TDIF) with the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) facilitating the construction.

A fish landing is also being built that is relevant for the fisherfolks towards a better facility.

Brgy. Buliok, situated in a low-lying area surrounded by rivers connected to Liguasan Marsh, is composed of five sitios. It is a home to over a thousand Maguindanaon households. Before BARMMe road to the village was rough and difficult. With the project of the Bangsamoro Government through the MPW, that provides one- kilometer road for every barangay in the region, Brgy. Buliok now enjoy better road for easier transport.

Grateful of the progress in the community, Brgy. Buliok shared worries about the effect of climate change in their lives. Accordingly, flood becomes often in their village and the schedule is uncertain. This has affected the farming and fishing activities, which are the main source of living to many.

“Years ago, it floods maybe once or twice a year. We have certain and abundant harvest from farm. Fresh water fish are plenty. But now, failure of crops is often and there is rare fish being caught”, Sarina told.

Before the BARMM, the villagers informed us of the development projects coming in to their barangay.  The covered court built through the project of the Provincial Local Government Unit of North Cotabato.

The infrastructure was constructed in year 2018 at the place that was massively destructed during the war in 2002.

A water system project was provided for the households in Buliok, implemented by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) with funds through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2), in support to the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Looking back and looking forward, these women of Buliok pray for a long-lasting peace in Bangsamoro and for all.

“We pray that this peace and development continues as life gets better for everyone. We also hope that abundance in agriculture and fishery may flourish again because it is our life.”  

The youth and young professionals of Buliok

Shaira Salik,24, who is from barangay proudly said that among the villages in Pikit, Buliok is producing numerous Bangsamoro professionals who excel with their respective careers. Shaira is one presently working as Political Affairs IV under the office of BTA Member Salik.

Orphans Abjmylle Salik and Murnisa Bandan, 13, are also hopeful professionals from the barangay.

Abjmylle,11, wishes to become an engineer to help her family.  She has two heads of goats that she is raising from the cash assistance she received from BARMM. Murnisa was speechless during the interview as she suddenly missed her late father.

Maarrouff Salik, is a civil engineering student who has been helping us through the interview in May 3. His love for his home village is visible through his deep knowledge and understanding of the history, current situation, and the plans of the barangay.

For the women, widows, orphans and youth of Brgy. Buliok, life in the past may be dark, but with the Bangsamoro Government at present, life becomes peaceful and there is high hope and prayer for better tomorrow.


Read 57 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 July 2022 03:28
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