COTABATO CITY: The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) started rolling out an unprecedented P2.4 billion in funds to boast the region’s agricultural productivity.
DAF-ARMM Secretary Makmod Mending Jr. told The Manila Times the funds were allocated for ARMM’s provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao only.
Mending said it was during the recent visit of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala when portions of the funds were disbursed. The DA’s Agri-Pinoy banner program has shared more than P800 million worth of mostly farm inputs to the total fund, he said.
Last Friday, after his tour in target areas of the projects, Alcala conducted forums in Marawi City and Parang town in Maguindanao that were attended by local farmers and fisherfolk who received development fund and support implements.
“Among the support package presented were the Agri-Pinoy farm and livestock program, [Bureau of Fisheries and Resources] BFAR fishing implements, [Transition Support Investment Plan] TISP funded livelihood scheme, and infrastructure development component taken from [bottom-up
budgeting] BuB / [grassroots participatory budgeting process]GPBP 2013 under the special purpose fund,” ARMM official said.
Mending said, “other projects are underway and scheduled for implementation this month [March].”
Aside from Agri-Pinoy, the department sourced P968 million from local government units (LGUs) P262 million from the PAyapa at MAsaganang PAmayanan (Pama–na) program, and from operation and stimulus funds, Mending said.
Last year the ARRM received only P260 million from the DA.
Past administrations of the ARMM, agricultural sectors received about P40 million to P80 million in funds from the national government, it was learned.