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PIA Press Release

Lanao's recipients of foreign-funded projects oriented

Cagayan de Oro City (23 February) -- Pursuing full-swing peace and development initiatives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the ARMM Social Fund Project (ASFP) has oriented and linked up with local government units (LGU) officials in Lanao del Sur to make them program implementing partners.

ASFP officials led by Project Manager Nasser Sinarimbo brainstormed with municipal and barangay officials from Lanao del Sur at a five-day orientation meeting that ended here Sunday.

During the conference, ASFP officials and some participating local officials from Lanao del Sur entered into agreements providing for the implementation of community-based infrastructure projects funded by foreign donor-institutions through the ASFP.

The ASFP was created by the national government in 2006 to implement in ARMM areas development projects funded through soft loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The World Bank has recently approved a US$30 million additional financing support through ASFP to cover more barangays from the six component provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan and two cities of Marawi and Lamitan that have not yet benefited from the agency's projects and services.

The ASFP operations' lifespan was supposed to end in June last year, but officials and residents in ARMM have persuaded the national government and participating foreign institutions to extend the operations that led to the approval of the fresh loan.

"The extended program operations entails substantial fund that every Filipinos will have to pay for it but is earmarked only for ARMM. It is a special privilege we must enjoy with utmost care to show we are worthy of trust," Engr. Sinarimbo told a press briefing earlier held in Cotabato City.

In pursuit of the policy of acting ARMM Governor Ansaruddin Alonto-Adiong on moral, transparent and consultative governance, the five-day orientation was held here to be able to ensure successful implementation of ASFP projects by recipient LGUs, he said.

The orientation had clarified the roles and functions of the Municipal Multi Stakeholders Committee (MMSC), Municipal Team (MT) and Local Chief Executives (LCEs), the responsibilities of the LGUs on procurement and management and project financial management and status in the said project implementation, added Sinarimbo.

He said that as of December last year, 862 of of the 2,486 barangays in ARMM have been covered by the Social Fund projects since year 2003.

In a message read for him by ARMM cabinet secretary Pangilaman Mamowalas, Gov. Adiong his transitional regime will support and pursue development undertakings that would help mitigate hunger and reduce poverty incidence, boost economic condition and improve education and health services in the entire region.

ARMM Social Fund Project has three major components, namely: Strategic Regional Infrastructure (SRI); capacity-building of recipients on livelihood and food sufficiency programs; and the Institutional Strengthening and Governance (ISG) that supports the mechanisms to project management and enhanced governance. (BPI-ARMM) [top]

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