MILF camps turned into productive farms

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MUNAI, LANAO DEL NORTE: Despite initial uncertainties with regard the continuation of the Bangsamoro peace process with the upcoming change of administration, the Department of Agriculture (DA) together with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and other government agencies including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), turned over farming assistance to beneficiaries in Camp Bilal here in Munai, Lanao del Norte, including farm tractors, three carabaos and provisions for agriculture farm inputs totaling 600 bags of corn seedlings and 1,000 pieces of fruit-bearing tree seedlings.

The six previously acknowledged MILF strongholds included Camps Abubakar, Omar, Badr, Rajamuda, Bushrah, and Bilal.

Col. William Alunday, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Mechanized Brigade of the Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army and Carlota Madriaga, Operations Division Chief of DA Regional Field Office X, were in attendance during the event and served as coordinators for Camp Bilal.

Incoming Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus G. Dureza vowed to continue the momentum of the Bangsamoro peace process once the new administration takes over on June 30.


Meanwhile in Cotabato City, representatives from the different international non-government organizations gathered in a one-day activity workshop on socio-economic survey on the six acknowledged MILF camps conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) and the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA).

The JICA-spearheaded socio-economic survey detailed the recommended economic opportunities that the different invited agencies can help develop in order to help uplift the lives of the people in the six municipalities covered by the study, namely: Barira, Matanog and Buldon of Maguindanao; Kapatagan, Balabagan and Marogong of Lanao del Sur.

The Normalization Annex is part of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) under which the MILF and GPH agreed to intensify development efforts of rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of the Bangsamoro addressing the needs of MILF-BIAF members, Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) and poverty stricken communities.

PIA

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