WHAT DO WE MEAN BY A “BETTER LIFE” THAT WE ALL WORKING AND WANTED FOR?

December 2020. For a community in Brgy. Tabuan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur (CAMP ABUBABAKAR), better life means better access to basic services- a change of living condition to better.

“The lifestyle of the people here has changed. Many were able to buy single motorcycles and other vehicle types because it is now accessible. Before the road project, we can only go to the nearest market once a day due to the difficulty in road access. Now, we can come and go more frequently to avail our needs for our families”, Analyn Talib stated. She is a member of the people’s organization in the barangay mobilized during the project implementation.

Banoy Ali, a farmer in the barangay recalls (before the road project) that sometimes some farmers have to manually carry their crops going to the market due to incapacity to pay for transportation cost (through horse). Now transport is easy since the barangay becomes accessible for other types of transport- lesser time and expenses because of the good road condition. 

In 2018, Brgy. Tabuan received a road project through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2). The road was completed and turned over to the community in August 2019.

More than a year after project turnover to the community, the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) went back to the barangay and asked how did the Iranun community in Brgy. Tabuan manage the operation, maintenance and sustainability of the one-lane concrete road.

The road is still in good condition and essential benefits are countless for the whole community. Farmers have better transport of crops, women have improved access for their needs, the children and the other sectors.  

Now, Brgy. Tabuan is once again selected to receive agri- training and production facility through the MTF-RDP on its Phase III. The barangay is within the Camp Abubakar of the six previously acknowledged camps of the MILF- where the MTF-RDP/3 is being implemented in support to the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). (Re-Ann Adam/BDA Comm)

December 16, 2020. In this era of development in the Bangsamoro, women rise and recall stories of sacrifices in times of war.

Ustadza Halima Hashim of the MILF Social Welfare Committee (SWC) spoke about gratitude and dedication during the recent gathering in Brgy. Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato within the Camp Rajamuda for the turnover ceremony of the solar-powered water system (Level II) project implemented in support to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Ustadza Halima recalled that in times of battle “we could not meet and convene like this; we get water from marsh for daily use”.

“We have to be grateful for all this development happening at present. We remember those who sacrificed, those who shed blood. They are not with us anymore, today”, the respected-woman told.

She added “now that we see this development, we have to work together and harder”.

Ustadza Halima is a sister of the late MILF founding chairman Salamat Hashim. She possesses a leadership charm, being the chair of SWC Liguasan Province.  As a woman-leader in the woman-wing of the MILF, she has the respect, trust and support of fellow women members, other stakeholders and of the whole community.

Water source in Brgy. Inug-ug are deep well and artisan well, that provides water for washing and bathing but is not safe for drinking. People have to buy purified water for drinking from the town center. Now with the project, safe water source is within their reach, installed at near the household beneficiaries of the project.

The turnover ceremony

Turnover Ceremony of the SEI project for Mindanao Trust Fund – Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTFRDP/2) marks the official passing of the responsibility on operation, maintenance and sustainability of the project to the People’s Organization (PO) formed in the community/barangay. In this, the PO will officially receive a certificate of acceptance and turnover, which will symbolize the authenticity of this significant event, where various sectors, stakeholders and partners witness the activity. Implementing agency reminds the PO of the trainings provided to them and urge them to apply all those learning and skills towards the operation, maintenance and sustainability of the project.

During the turnover of the project in Inug-ug- CAMP RAJAMUDA, various stakeholders and partners came and shared the celebration and success of the project- that signify the peace and development in the region.

  • Task Force on Camps Transformation (Camp Rajamuda)
  • Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA-BARMM)
  • Office of MP O. Salik (Bangsamoro Transition Authority)
  • International Monitoring Team (IMT)
  • Municipal Local Government Unit- Pikit, North Cotabato
  • Barangay Local Government Unit- Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato
  • MILF Political Committee
  • People’s Organization
  • Community Members
  • Tamontaka Builers
  • Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF)
  • Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.)
  • Community and Family Services International (CFSI)

IN PHOTOS: TURN-OVER CEREMONY OF SOLAR POWERED WATER SYSTEM LEVEL II IN CAMP RAJAMUDA

 

December 8, 2020. Abdulnassser Akmad, a community leader in Brgy. Kurintem, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao delivered today a touching wonderful message as he spoke during the turnover ceremony of concrete road in Brgy. Sifaran, DOS, Maguindanao- CAMP BADRE.

“This project is our life. You gave us not what we want but what we need” he stated.

In his speech, as their organization formally received the certificate of turnover for the project, Abdulnasser told that he did not reach high school education, but he was determined to speak in English in gratitude of the project given to them.

“We have to spend P100.00 per sack of corn to transport to the nearest market”, he told.

For a poor family in remote areas, that amount is big enough to add to their expenses plus the burden of difficult road to carry their local crops, to sustain their families.

He said that “before, because we are living in far community, we feel the isolation and being underserved, now with this project, we feel that we are near, that we belong”.

“We are deeply thankful. We will take care of this project as we take care of ourselves” Abdulnasser ended. 

The Sifaran Story

Imagine the burden of selling your farm crop yield to the market wherein the income shall be needed to feed your family, but bringing your farm produce requires means of transportation that endures rough and tough road.

Imagine sick individuals who need immediate access to basic health services, but they are constrained because they are residing in a remote area, at least 10 kilometers from the nearest medical station.

Imagine a pregnant mother who will about to bear a child and bring new life to this world, but one will need to endure a long travel and challenging ride before she can avail a safe and better natal health care.

 This is the life of people in Brgy. Sifaran, DOS, Maguindanao within the territory of CAMP BADRE- one of the acknowledged six major camps of the MILF.

Barangay Sifaran is an agricultural land. Means of transportation is only habal-bahal (single motorcycle). Farm products such as corn, rice, banana and coconut are being transported to the market by habal-habal which is almost 10 kilometers away from the farmlands.

The road condition really affects the daily lives of the community especially during rainy season. The road is unpassable and even habal-habal found it difficult to travel; delivery of farm produce had been delayed and damaged before it reaches the market. Incidents of motorcycle crashes have been increasing with one recorded death due to accident during the course of sub-project implementation the site. Since the only means of transportation is habal-habal, the travel fare is very expensive wherein most of the residents cannot afford. Instead, they opt to hike to go their destination, especially the students.

Today, December 8, 2020, the collective dream of this people is realized as the concrete road project was officially turned over to the community through the People’s Organization mobilized for the project.

The project is funded through the Mindanao Trust Fund – Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTFRDP/2)- implemented in support to the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

Through the road construction, the steep and challenging portions were cut, elevations were fixed, passing of commuters is already smooth. Even though it was not fully paved yet, there were no more recorded incidents in the area. Delivery of farm products is now faster compared to the previous condition, the freshness and the quality of the farm produce has been preserved that commands higher buying price, and improved household income.

 Turnover Ceremony

Turnover Ceremony of the SEI project for MTFRDP/2 marks the official passing of the responsibility on operation, maintenance and sustainability of the project to the People’s Organization (PO) formed in the community/barangay. In this, the PO will officially receive a certificate of acceptance and turnover, which will symbolize the authenticity of this significant event, where various sectors, stakeholders and partners witness the activity. Implementing agency reminds the PO of the trainings provided to them and urge them to apply all those learning and skills towards the operation, maintenance and sustainability of the project.

During the turnover of the project in Sifaran- CAMP BADRE, various stakeholders and partners came and shared the celebration and success of the project- that signify the peace and development in the region.

  • Task Force on Camps Transformation (Camp Badre)
  • Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA-BARMM)
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR- BARMM)
  • Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA- BARMM)
  • International Monitoring Team (IMT)
  • Municipal Local Government Unit- DOS, Maguindanao
  • Barangay Local Government Unit- Sifaran, DOS, Maguindanao
  • People’s Organization
  • Community Members
  • Minrock Builders
  • Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF)
  • Political Committee (PolCom)
  • Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.)
  • Community and Family Services International (CFSI)


December 6, 2020. While various development efforts are underway in camps communities, approaches shall consider the current threat brough about by the global pandemic on COVID-19.

Being situated in remote areas, people in camp communities can have difficulty to access of information about this global threat not only on health but on economic aspect as a whole.

With this, series of information drive about COVID-19 is being undertaken as one sub-component of the of the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase III (MTF-RDP/3) across the communities in the six major camp where the project is implemented.

In a recent, inception meeting with BARMM Agencies for MTFRDP/3, Ministry of Health reported that many people in the remote areas are still not convinced of the threat brought about by the COVID-19, thus the ministry is looking forward to reach out those communities for education and awareness on the pandemic.

MTFRDP/3 is a project informed by the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), that aims to enable identified communities in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao to access socio-economic opportunities as well as basic services and engage select ministries of the BARMM in participatory governance mechanisms.

December 4, 2020. In all professions, values are important to guide the worker to be able to deliver compassionate service.

For Satria T. Andang, a head nurse in #Buluan District Hospital (#BDH) in Maguindanao, patience is significant in dealing with clients/patients.

"As health care worker, we must consider the life condition or status of our patients. We must understand that those people came to us (at the hospital) because they need our service. We should be the first one to adjust, and treat our patients with utmost respect and eqaulity", Nurse Satria told.

She was among the first batch of participants to the three-day values transformation training (#VTT) conducted by the #Bangsamoro Development Agency (#BDA Inc.) on November 26-28, 2020.

For her, participating into that training gave her relief inside. Sessions from the activity gave her many realizations in life.

“I was crying during the halaqat (study circle) session. I remember my parents, I felt guilty but I told myself that its not too late”, Nurse Satria stated.

VTT is a flagship program of BDA, that is designed to promote the importance of values in performing one’s duty in whatever profession, most importantly in the context of development and humanitarian works. Guided by the principle that change must begin with one’s self, VTT enlightens participants of self-development before one person can be an agent of change and development. Also regarded as peace building approach, VTT helps in promoting Universal Values, improving social cohesion between diverse culture and faith.

It has been a major program of BDA since its early days, employed in mobilizing and organizing its pool of volunteers that helped developed and enriched its human resources as development agency operating in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

To share the success of VTT, BDA has been organizing similar training not only for its staff but also to its partners and stakeholders, like of the health workers in BDH.

This 2020, BDA agreed with #MBHTE-TESDA of #BARMM to facilitate VTT with the scholars of skills training/vocational courses across the Bangsamoro region.

Friday, 04 December 2020 07:15

Mainstreaming with BARMM Agencies

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With the intention to establish link with the agencies of the #Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (#BARMM) for the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase III (MTF-RDP/3), the first inception meeting was conducted on November 27, 2020 in Cotabato City.

Designated officials and focal person from BARMM Agencies attended the activity and expressed common aspiration to extend services to camp communities, based on their office’s expertise.

Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA)
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR),
Ministry of Health (MOH)
Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS)
Ministry of Public Works (MPW)
Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE)
Ministry of Social Services and Development
Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs

Mainstreaming with BARMM line agencies is one major component of the MTFRDP/3, in an intent to establish links for sharing lessons and experiences over the years for consistent and complementary development approaches.

MTFRDP/3 is a project informed by the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), that aims to enable identified communities in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao to access socio-economic opportunities as well as basic services and engage select ministries of the BARMM in participatory governance mechanisms.

October 26, 2020. It is when you are discussing a topic to the group of participants of the training you are facilitating and someone was just walking in the middle carrying a weapon, as if showing off power and disrespect.

Another scene is when a village leader did not welcome your team to the place, and whenever there is activity, he will send a group of armed men circling around the venue.

What would you do as the team leader of the project?

For Alimuddin Hadjinor, community development officer of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.), such incident was part of the dynamics in camp communities that a development worker must know and understand. For him, patience is the best thing that one should possess to be able to manage such situation and realities.

“I and my team had let them do such disrespectful act and we just went on with our activity”, Hadjinor said.

He added that even they were ignored by the village leader despite the various attempts to pay respect to their office, his team would still go down for a while to greet and update them about the activity they are conducting for the day in the community.

“We just let them with that manner, no words from us. We only told them that our team is here in the village to conduct training as important component of the project that shall provide benefit of the people”, Hadjinor stated.

His team carried out all the activities in line with the project implementation and maintained harmonious relationship among the community members in the camp.

Hadjinor has been leading the team of Camp Project Support Team (CPST) in Camp Omar Ib’n Al-Khattab, who is the first team to complete the implementation of the socio-economic infrastructure (SEI) sub-project under the MTF-RDP/2 Stage 2 and officially turned over the facility to the rightful beneficiary in Brgy. Talibadok, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao.

The agri-facility building with solar dryer and corn sheller sub-project shall benefit the farmers and the residents of the community who have no access to post-harvest facilities- thus affecting their income to sustain their families. Brgy. Talibadok is an agricultural land, and farming is one major source of income.

This sub-project is funded by the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2)- implemented in support to the confidence-building measures on Camps Transformation under the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

MTF-RDP/2 covers eight villages in the six acknowledged camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) namely: Camp Abubakar as-Siddique, Camp Badre, Camp Bilal bin Rabbah Darul Shuhada, Camp Busrah Somiorang, Camp Omar Ib’n Al-Kattab, and Camp Rajamuda.
MTF-RDP/2 focused its support to the Joint Task Forces on Camps Transformation (JTFCT) towards transforming their outlook from conflict to development. There is also a component on Alternative Learning System (ALS) that cater the needs of the vulnerable groups like the out-of-school youth, women, elderlies, person with disabilities, and others who were not able to complete education due to war and poverty.
Teamwork and respect
CPST Camp Omar is composed of Alimuddin Hadjinor (Community Development Officer), Nasser Masandag (community organizer), Engr. Abdulgaffar Sundang (rural infrastructure engineer), and Walid Maliga (driver).
When asked what is their best practice as a team that enabled them to be the first CPST to complete and successfully turned over one of two sub-projects in the said camp, these hardworking development workers said, “It’s the respect.”
“We respect each other. We recognize the role of each member of the team. We do consultation, we listen to everyone’s idea and then we come up with an informed and collective decision”, Engr. Sundang stated.

”Teamwork is also a winning practice”, Masandag stressed.

“We help one another. While we do our own job, based on our position, we also help each other if anyone of us cannot do his task because of some valid reasons”, Masandag added.

Meanwhile, Walid Maliga, the team driver, is appreciative to the team for considering his thoughts whenever they have activities to conduct.

Now, the team is happy to share that those individuals who have disbelief in them and to the project are their friends already. In fact, those people have asked for forgiveness from the team and since then, those enemies are now friends.
CPST Camp Omar told that these friends have become supportive of the project, generous to them, offering them food and warm welcome whenever they are in the community, for monitoring and supervision of the project implementation.

“The most important is the intention. As long as you know your goal, and why are you doing the project, and that it is for the benefit of people, not of a single individual, you will succeed” the team ended. (BDAInc.2020)

Tuesday, 24 November 2020 07:08

Road opens for remote community in MILF camp

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"We are on the road to recovery...
"We will do our best to take care of this project...
"All-out-war in 2000, this is now the blessing..
"This is a big honor for us....
"This road project will result to high productivity and low losses of Bangsamoro farmers....
"Bangsamoro Gov.t supports development projects that benefit the Bangsamoro constituents...

These were the words and statements of various stakeholders who attended the Turnover Ceremony of One-lane Concrete Road on November 23, 2020 in Brgy. Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao (CAMP ABUBAKAR).

The project was funded through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase II (MTF-RDP/2)- implemented in support to the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

#Bangsamoro Development Agency (#BDA Inc.)
#Bangsamoro Planning and Development Agency (BPDA-#BARMM)
- Task Force on Camps Transformation- Camp Abubakar
- Joint Task Force on Camps Transformation (JTFCT-MILF)
- Community and Family Services International
- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (#MAFAR-#BARMM)
- Municipal Local Government Unit of Barira, Maguindanao
- Barangay Local Government Unit of Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao
- International Monitoring Team
- People's Organization
- Community members
- Stoneline Construction

Saturday, 28 November 2020 07:02

Continuing Assistance to Camp Communities

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Partners and stakeholders at the community level express full support to the continuing development assistance coming for camp communities through the Mindanao Trust Fund- Reconstruction and Development Project Phase Three (MTF-RDP/3). Recently, BDA Camp Project Support Team across the six major camps paid courtesy call to partner local government units (municipal and barangay level) and to MILF Political Committee as part of the coordination and communication strategy to inform stakeholders of the key information about the project, guided by the values of transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability.

MTF-RDP/3 is a project implemented in continuing support to the Normalization Annex of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB); and in desire to aid the Bangsamoro transition taking into account the current global pandemic towards an inclusive collaborative and complementary peace and development approach for all.

NOVEMBER 27, 2020. Through a ceremonial rite, a Teduray community in Brgy. Rifao, North Upi, Maguindanao rejoiced during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of WATER SYSTEM LEVEL II (SPRING DEVELOPMENT) this week in the said barangay.

Mary Jane Limao, 33 said that they are happy for this project because it will provide the whole community with safe water.

Her family and the rest of the people in the barangay are relying on a deep well to get water for daily consumption.

Up in the mountain, access to basic services is difficult for Mary Jane and the whole village.

"We go to the public market on weekly basis to get some of our needs. We walk for four hours to get there, and it is very hard, mostly when it rains because the road is not good", Mary Jane stated.

On health, medical workers visit at community every week.

Planting of vegetables and farming of rice, corn and other local crops like coffee is the source of living of many families in the Brgy. Rifao.