The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), on Friday distributed farm inputs to boost the livelihood of selected beneficiaries from the provinces of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi amid the pandemic.
The selected beneficiaries from Barangay Muslim Area in the municipality of Maluso, Basilan province received assorted farming tools and equipment that included two trailers, a power tiller, a gasoline-powered water pump, a water tank and hose, vegetable seeds, and several gardening tools.
Amin Pansulani, barangay chairman of Muslim Area, Maluso, received the farm implements.
The farmer and women sector of Barangay Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan received four units of cassava graters worth PHP62,000 each.
Ilma Ajanti, the parent-leader of Baguindan, received the farm implements on behalf of the farmer and women sector beneficiaries in the village.
The Badjao tribe of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi received fishing gear and equipment that included motorboat engines, plastic water tanks, and fishing nets.
Badjao tribe chieftain, Isnaj Kingkaw Nurlagi, received the livelihood implements.
Winston Aylmer Camarinas, UNDP Cotabato field office head, said the agency supports the existing livelihood of the farmers and women in the communities.
“Through this, we will be able to sustain the gains of peace and address poverty, which is one of the root causes of criminalities and worst, terrorism,” Camarinas told the farm implement recipients.
“To the beneficiaries of the equipment that we distributed today, I hope these will help uplift your lives. Life is difficult due to the pandemic but don’t lose hope because there’s a brighter day ahead,” Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Westmincom chief, said in his message to the beneficiaries.
Rosario, whose message was read by Col. Wendell Basat, Westmincom Civil-Military Operations officer, assured the beneficiaries that the military would be with them side by side to protect them.
He commended the sponsors and supporters of the project, including the Embassy of Japan, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the provincial government of Basilan, and the UNDP.
“The men and women in uniform appreciate the role of our partners and stakeholders in achieving our vision of a peaceful and progressive community, devoid of the threats of terrorism, extortion, and extremism,” Rosario said.
“We have already gained a substantial headway in achieving inclusive and sustainable peace, which signifies that indeed cooperation and the involvement of everybody is the key to moving forward.” (PNA)