COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: A total of P77.37 million worth of infrastructure projects will be implemented by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao to help rehabilitate and develop communities affected by the conflict.
Executive Director Amir Mawallil of the ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information told The Manila Times that the projects include school buildings, water and sanitation facilities, a bridge, access road and a mosque.
According to Mawallil, the Department of Public Works and Highways-ARMM (DPWH-ARMM) will construct nine school buildings costing P44.39 million in different areas in the municipality.
He said funding for the six school buildings will come from the Department of Education-ARMM while rest, amounting to P3.5 million will be financed from DPWH-ARMM’s own savings.
DPWH-ARMM Secretary Emil Sadain said they will also build eight water and sanitation facilities costing P5.439 million, and P9 million worth of water supply systems in different barangays.
Sadain said the projects will help address the development needs of communities affected by the January 25 Mamasapano incident and the ensuing military operations.
In addition to the school buildings and water facilities, Sadain said ARMM will construct an 880 meters access road from Tukanalipao proper to Sitio Ameril, costing P7.5 million, and a 120 meters steel footbridge worth P10 million.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said he is optimistic that these projects will help usher in peace and development in the area.
“Gagawin naming oportunidad ang nangyari [noong January 25]sa Mamasapano upang mas gumanda ang buhay ng mga kababayan natin dito [Let us use the January 25 incident in Mama-sapano as an opportunity to improve the lives of the people here],” Hataman said.
Moreover, ARMM will provide P1 million for the construction of a mosque in Barangay Tuka-nalipao. This project which will be undertaken by the Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID).
Hataman together with Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, 6ID commanding general; Mama-sapano Mayor Tahirodin Benzar Ampatuan; DPWH-ARMM Secretary Sadain; and Director Ramil Masukat, ARMM’s Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Officer, led the ground breaking rites of the school building, water and sanitation, and mosque projects.
According to the ARMM governor, the involvement of the Philippine Army in the implementation of the infrastructure projects in Mamasapano shows that the military is supportive of the Mindanao peace process.
ARMM also provided livelihood assistance to the 10 civilian families affected in the Mamasapano incident during the groundbreaking. The assistance included four hand tractors and six tricycles.