President Duterte is about to make true his campaign promise of pouring funds into the conflict-torn Mindanao region.
Apart from millions of agriculture and electrification projects, Duterte has revealed his intention to put up a modern hospital either in Sulu or Basilan which will be funded by a billion-peso offer from a businessman he declined to name.
“There is a businessman who offered to help,” Duterte said in a recent visit to Cotabato City. “The person offered to donate P1 billion. I said I will accept it if he will build a hospital in Jolo or Basilan.”
Duterte said the hospital construction would start next year, hoping it would address the healthcare needs of the people in the area.
“If the funds are given, I will start it next year. The hospital in Jolo will be built and I hope there won’t be wounded soldiers or Abu Sayyaf rebels would comprise most of the patients. I hope conflict will end,” said Duterte.
“You made me president. Ngayon tapos na ang eleksyon, bubuhusan ko ng pera ang Moro region.”
In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the government has put in place a massive electrification project worth P646.84 million for the region’s five provinces which has two cities and 116 municipalities.
This despite the report of the Department of Energy that the ARMM P574.23 million for the on-grid electrification projects from 2015 until 2016 that benefited a total of 39,365 households.
For the grid-electrification plans under Duterte’s government, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur will get R4.84 million, Tawi-Tawi with P18.31 million, Basilan with P2.81 million, and Sulu with 10.88 million next year.
Duterte and Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi led the ceremonial switch-on of the recently completed electrification projects of the DoE and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) at the ARMM Regional Government Compound in Cotabato City on Saturday.
ARMM has also received P500-million worth of assistance for its farmers and fisherfolks during the launching of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA) in Cotabato City.
Duterte reiterated to role of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) when it comes to addressing the countries hunger problems.
“I want the incidence of hunger stopped. Kawawa ang mga bata. We have to do something about it,” said Duterte.
The assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) include farm equipment, post-harvest facilities, machineries, farm and agri-aquatic inputs such as rice certified seeds, corn seeds, banca, fishing paraphernalia, among others.
A new project of the DA, Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), will allow the DA to look at the weak points of each identified poor province as priority areas, and determine its key potentials in food production and agricultural livelihood programs. (YAS D. OCAMPO, GENALYN D. KABILING & ANTONIO COLINA)