Mindanao Times

Town, MinDA push for settlement site


MAYOR Rommel Arnado of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte describes the pilot Rural Resettleme­nt of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) program as having a complete value chain, from production to marketing, that can complement their local programs.

“I am in full support of this program. This is a challenge but it is not a burden. This is another program which I am deeply engaged in and I am committed to making this successful,” Arnado said in a ZOOM conference with Mindanao

Developmen­t Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and officials of the various national agencies, on Tuesday (May 19).

"For our continuous program on relocation, we are weak on that part because we really lack financing. However, this is a complete value chain program and we need this in our relocation areas,” Arnado said.

He added that the Balik Probinsiya project would discourage people from going to highly urbanized areas and would allow

skills training, which would capacitate them.

He also pointed out that the program can be implemente­d in to complement with their existing project, the “arms to farms” program.

“If you can see, even if we only help them through small financing but because we capacitate them and we deliver from the heart, we are able to convince them to be with us and that’s the reason why our town is peaceful,” he added.

Arnado also said that he asked the permission of Governor Imelda Dimaporo to use their real property tax income in the payment of the resettleme­nt property.

“This property will not come cheap. This is an investment of around PHP20 million and I already talked to the governor and she’s willing to put up half of the amount,” he added.

On the other hand, Piñol said Arnado, who is an organic farming advocate, has signified the town's interest to accept the first 200 families who would like to return home to the municipali­ty or any Lanao del Norte town.

"They will live in a five-hectare housing-withliveli­hood activity in Barangay Inudaran," he said, adding that the municipal government has already committed to providing gardening equipment, such as small tractors and tools for the first Balik Probinsya beneficiar­ies for Lanao del Norte.

As the first rural resettleme­nt project, Piñol said that he suggested to the mayor that they would focus on organic agricultur­al production, particular­ly in broiler chicken production.

"In our meeting, he also said he preferred the production of broiler chicken as a cascading project since it will produce chicken dung that could be used as a soil enhancer,” he added. To complete the value chain, MinDA commits to look for buyers of the produce of Kauswagan.

The series of site visits and consultati­ons of Secretary Piñol , with the support of the regional line agencies, aim to provide full understand­ing and appreciati­on of the BP2 to ensure success of the program.

Piňol emphasized the importance of the program in spurring developmen­t in the countrysid­e as a strategy to discourage migration of people to urban centers.

"Through the BPBPP, Mindanao will surely get its lion share from the national coffer and be able to support the country to balance its growth and lower the risk caused by the prevailing pandemic disease," he said. PR

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