COTABATO CITY — The Economic Development Committee (EDCom) of the Bangsamoro Economic and Development Council (BEDC) successfully conducted its first regular meeting for the year 2021 on Friday, March 5 at MAFAR Conference Room, Bangsamoro Government Center in this city.Mohammad S. Yacob, EDCom Chairperson and Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) presided the meeting together with Economic Planning Division Chief Rohanisah N. Rashid who represented Bangsamoro Director General Engr. Mohajirin T. Ali of the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA).
Minister Yacob emphasized the importance of discussing the issues and concerns of the ministries and offices at the Committee level. He also reminded the member ministries to update the Committee on the current status of their various programs and projects.The meeting highlighted the accomplishment of the BARMM’s Food Security Convergence Model Milestones from July 2020 until January 2021, particularly, the Integrated Bangsamoro Greening Program (IBGP) ‘Kayod ka, Bangsamoro’ (KKB) of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE), MAFAR’s Basic Integration of Harmonized Intervention (BInHI), and Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Change Adaptation’ (DRR-CCA) including the Community Based Participatory Planning (CBPP) and Convergence Area Development Plan (CADP) Formulation of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG).
Under the IBGP KKB, a one-hectare vegetable production model was already established in the following eight ( convergence project sites namely Brgy. Madalum, Barira; Brgy. Labungan, DOS; Brgy. Nekitan, Sultan Kudarat; Brgy. Dasawao; Shariff Saydona Mustapha; and Brgy.Tamar, Talayan in Maguindanao; Brgy. Dilimbayan, Maguing; Brgy. Sawer, Masiu; and Brgy. Sandab, Butig in Lanao del Sur. Further, the MILF-BIAF combatants turned into “Palaw Rangers” underwent trainings on Forest Fire Management and Pest Diseases Prevention within Forestland, Municipal Nursery Extension Worker, and Orientation Course on the Apprehension, Detection and Documentation of Illegal Logging Activities, all provided by the MENRE. To improve and mobilize the nursery and vegetable production areas of the 1,000 household participants, the WFP provides cash-grant through food for work scheme amounting to six thousand pesos (Php6,000.00) both in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, wherein, the farmer participants will receive Php2,000.00 every payout in 3 tranches. The participants from Lanao del Sur have already completed the first track of implementation for livelihood support and received Php6,000.00 pesos last January 26-31, 2021.
In Maguindanao, the distribution of the first tranche of cash-payout was conducted in November 2020, while its second and third tranche was conducted on February 16-18, 2021 at Brgy. Labungan, Datu Odin Sinsuat and Brgy. Tamar, Talayan. Additionally, cash-payout is pending in Brgy. Neketan, Sultan Kudarat and Brgy. Dasawao, Shariff Saydona due to some issues and concerns on the suitability of land for vegetable production. Through the MAFAR’s BInHI, a total of 1,305 packs of assorted vegetable seeds was distributed to the 1,000 soon-to-be decommissioned MILF-BIAF combatants/participants in the convergence model. Also, MAFAR has conducted training on organic farming and directly linked the participants to the MAFARLENGKE and other nearby local markets. According to its record, Rashid reported that the KKB vegetable garden in Brgy. Tamar, Talayan has yielded thrice since its establishment, while the KKB gardens in Brgy. Dasawao and Brgy. Labungan were not able to properly state their yield due to problem in record-keeping.“May problema po tayo doon sa recording ng ating mga beneficiaries. Most of them are illiterate, hindi pa marunong magsulat, mag-record.
Thank you for the recommendations for the Convergence team to conduct training on Small Farmers Records Study kasi hindi po sila marunong mag-record ng yield nila,” Rashid stressed.Ramil Roy D. Tiolo, Planning Officer V of the MOLE rejoined and recommended to the Committee that MOLE’s Community Emergency Employment Program (CEEP) and Government Internship Program (GIP) can be enrolled as an expansion of services to the Convergence Model. “Yung CEEP, particularly, ‘yung beneficiaries nation doon ay yung community na pinapatrabaho namin sila for a month. So, meron silang matatanggap sa atin na stipend. Same with the GIP, ‘yung ating mga newly college graduates ay pinapatrabaho natin sila sa mga government agencies dahil meron silang monthly stipend, at the same time, meron silang experience na makukuha doon sa government agencies na iyon,” he explained.“Kung meron po kayong identified community na may mga farmers po na gustong ipasok sa CEEP, makakatulong po iyon. Kaya tinanong ko rin po kung ano po ‘yung costing doon sa yield, doon sa income, baka doon po meron ding labor expenses. So, kung papasukan po natin ng CEEP, of course, makakatulong at mababawas po iyon sa expenses na ma-incur ng mga farmers natin,” Tiolo added.BPDA, as the technical secretariat of the convergence team, Rashid suggested that the said office will submit the list of participants to the MOLE for easy profiling.Akan G. Tula, OIC Chief of Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-BARMM), expressed their intent to avail the GIP for PSA-BARMM’s additional manpower.
Also, Tula requested the convergence team to submit the details on yield and other pertinent information of the convergence model.Furthermore, through the CBPP of the MILG’s DRR-CCA, a total of 89 facilitators were trained composed of 39 facilitators from the Regional Convergence Team, 33 facilitators from 5 municipalities in Maguindanao, 17 facilitators from the provincial office, and 3 facilitators from the local government units in Lanao del Sur. However, this large number is heavily affected due to trained facilitators’ unrenewed contracts and employment to other offices which call for the need to conduct another batch of CBPP training.Based on the updates of the Convergence, the members of the Committee found that apart from extending livelihood assistance, the Bangsamoro government should also give attention to boost the social welfare aspect of the household participants in terms of education, health, and employment.Rashid reiterated to the committee members the submission of names of their permanent and alternate focal persons who will regularly attend the EDCom meetings.
This matter was previously discussed during the Committee’s second regular meeting in the year 2020 held last November 17.The meeting also highlighted the updates on the finalization of the Bangsamoro Response and Recovery Plan (BRRP) for COVID-19 Pandemic 2020-2022, the updating of the Bangsamoro Development Investment Program (BDIP) 2020-2022 pursuant to the forthcoming budget call for the year 2022, and on-going collection of data by the PSA for the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) estimates for 2020. Meanwhile, representatives from the MENRE, MTIT, and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) were also present during the first regular committee meeting. (BPDA-BARMM)