SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A total of P100 million would be spent for the new Maguindanao Provincial Hospital Datu Piang Annex with funds coming from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Humanitarian and Development Assistance Program (ARMM-HDAP).
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said residents of Datu Piang and its adjacent areas stand to benefit when the 25-bed hospital annex is completed this year.
The project, according to Hataman, is part of the P2.233-billion total budget of the ARMM-HDAP awarded by the national government for implementation of projects for 15 conflict-affected municipalities in Maguindanao.
Baintan Ampatuan, executive director of the Regional Planning and Development Office and program manager of the ARMM-HDAP Project Management Office, said the hospital building costs P50 million, while P30 million has been allocated for hospital equipment and P20 million for personnel services.
Hataman, along with other regional, provincial, and municipal officials, led the project’s ground-breaking ceremonies last Friday, at Barangay Magaslong in Datu Piang.
Datu Piang Mayor Datu Genuine Kamaong thanked the ARMM government for building a public hospital in his town.
“The residents of Datu Piang will no longer go to Midsayap in North Cotabato province, Shariff Aguak, and Cotabato City for their hospitalization needs, since we will have our own hospital already,” Kamaong said.
Abdullah Tonga, Maguindanao provincial administrator, urged the people of Datu Piang to continue supporting government projects in their town.
Meanwhile, Ampatuan congratulated local officials and the Department of the Interior and Local Government-ARMM on the completion of Datu Piang town hall.
ARMM’s HDAP aims to address the immediate needs of conflict-affected families as well as provide follow-through interventions in affected communities.
It also aims to establish a systematic and a coordinated approach in addressing and mitigating effects of future disasters and calamities, toward a more peaceful and resilient autonomous Muslim region.
“There is a need to put up a hospital in Datu Piang so that residents nearby can avail of hospital services especially in times of trouble,” Hataman said.
The ARMM-HDAP is a project of the regional government under the Hataman administration that will implement various government initiatives, specifically relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of both “horizontal”– school buildings, houses and health centers–and “vertical” infrastructure–roads and bridges–and provision of livelihood programs.
Based on the 2010 World Bank-World Food Program study on violent conflicts in Central Mindanao, Maguindanao was the most affected especially in terms of human displacement.
It suffered from both man-made and natural disasters.
In 2015, approximately 125,000 local residents were displaced because of intensified military operations to pursue terrorist elements in the area.
Thus, Maguindanao has been a priority province under ARMM-HDAP.
In January, a new town hall for Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao was also inaugurated.
Ampatuan said that this is the first to be completed among the projects being implemented under ARMM-HDAP.