Seated from left to right: Mr. Sinichi Masuda, JAICA-CCDP Chief Advisor; Atty. Ishak V. Mastura, RBOI-ARMM Chairman; Dr. Abubakar M. Datumanong, Reg'l. Asst. Secretary, DTI-ARMM, and PHILJAFA-ARMM President; and Mr. Nasser Talipasan, DAR-Legal Officer designate, and PHILJAFA-ARMM Vice President.\
07 February 2014
TOBACCO FREE ENVIRONMENT
Philippine Japan Fellows Association - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PHILJAFA-ARMM), in cooperation with the Department of Health (DOH-ARMM), organized a forum entitled " AWARENESS FORUM ON TOBACCO FREE ENVIRONMENT". Mr. Nasser L. Talipasan, a DAR-ARMM Legal Officer designate and Vice President of PHILJAFA, attended the meeting. He said, in his closing remarks, "the ARMM may be abolished and be substituted by the upcoming Bangsamoro new entity, but PHILJAFA will still continue." (DAR-ARMM)
In addition to the previously approved sub-project of the ARCP II in ARMM, another twenty (20) sub-projects in Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao province were approved by the National Sub-Approval Committee (NSAC) last December 06, 2013. The total cost of the above approved sub-projects is Php 532,108,830.50. As the Regional Project Manager, OIC Secretary McMillan A. Lucman led the field validation for these rural infrastructure projects and engaged the LGUs to participate in order to help our ARCs located in their respective municipalities.
A separate project validation for the provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi is scheduled in early part of January 2014.
Notably, the rural infrastructure component of ARCP II is funded by the OPEC Funds for International Development (OFID) thru the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The previously approved sub-projects region-wide as of October 18, 2013 is eighty two (82) with the total cost of Php 605,763,122.57 or $13.4 million. These figures are still below the total OFID allocation of $30 million considering that the LGUs are required to put up its equity. Initial setback of the project was due to the incapacity of the LGUs to put up equity counterpart. Strategies on how to lessen the equity requirement was raised during the ADB Project Mission in Davao City on September 10-13, 2013. On the strength on the representation of the National Project Coordinating Office (NPCO), the DAR–Regional Project Office (RPO) and the Special Management Team (SMT), the new sharing scheme was formulated. The original 50% - 50% equity sharing was maintained but the 50% share for the LGUs was broken down into : 10% cash outlay; the 40% in kind covering the pre-implementation costs of the project cost and post implementation costs.
For Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao, a 5% cash for work will also be provided by the World Food Program. These will also loosen the burden of the LGUs.
This loan entered into by the DAR – National Office and ADB-OFID is supposed to end this year. However, after due deliberation during the ADB Project Mission, the OFID loan was extended for another year to coincide with the ADB loan in the non-ARMM regions that will end on December 31, 2014. The DAR Provincial Offices, in this case, opted to take advantage by proposing additional projects for coverage.
The seemingly ordinary day for the kick-off meeting of the Joint ADB-OFID Review Mission for the Second Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP II) on 12 September 2013 turned into a celebratory one when Ms. Iman Alshammari, Public Sector Operations Specialist of the OPEC fund for International Development (OFID), conveyed the good news: OFID Director General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish has approved the request for ARCP II Loan extension for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) from December 2013 to December 2014. This pleasant news was warmly received by the attendees particularly DAR-ARMM Regional Secretary Macmillan A. Lucman and the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officers (PAROs). Sec. Lucman was elated because this would provide more ample time for the ARCP II to deliver support services to target agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the ARMM.
Ms. Iman Alshammari, OFID Public Sector Operations Specialist, addresses the participants in the Joint ADB-OFID Review Mission for ARCP II in Davao City. Ms. Alshammari announces the extension of OFID Loan closing date for ARCP II.
The Government of the Philippines in 2008 signed two loan Agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) amounting to US$70 million and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) amounting US$30 million for the implementation of the Second Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP II). Both Loan Agreements became effective in March 2009
The ADB Loan, which support rural infrastructure (RI) development in Regions IV-B, V, VI, VIII and IX, has a closing date of December 2014 while the OFID Loan, whose proceeds are exclusively used for RI subprojects in ARMM, is effective only until December 2013. This is in spite of the fact that the ARCP II is a 6-years project expected to be complete by December 2014.
Taking into consideration this discrepancy, and the imperative to extend the OFID Loan closing date, the ARCP II National Project Coordination Office (NPCO) initiated rounds of discussion with the management of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on this matter. As early as March 2013, the DAR formally requested the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to allow the synchronization of the closing date of OFID Loan and the ADB Loan. Cited as major reasons in the request are the recent substantial interest of participating local government units (LGUs) in ARMM which came only after the infusion of supplemental fund given to LGUs through the provision of the National Government Assistance to LGUs (NGALGU) which allocates 25% of the total subproject cost and the institution of several measure to fast track project implementation.
Convinced that the OFID Loan closing date should be harmonized with that of the ADB Loan, NEDA endorsed the request of DAR to the Department of Finance (DOF). Both agencies approved in principle the extension of the said closing date subject to the approval of OFID.
In his letter to the DOF, DG Al-Herbish expressed his confidence that based on the assessment of ACP II’s progress in ARMM, “the extension will allow for the successful completion of the remaining project activities.
-Lifted from Momentum DAR-ARCP2 publication Vol. 3, July-September 2013
Upon the invitation of Bumbaran Mayor Jamal E. Manabilang, DAR-ARMM Regional Secretary Macmillan A. Lucman led the groundbreaking ceremony of a farm-to-market road (FMR) subproject in Bumbaran, Lanao del Sur with funding support from the Second Agrarian Reform Communicates Project (ARCP II). Sec. Lucman invited Deputy National Project Coordinator Herman Z. Ongkiko and other staff of the National Project Coordinator Office (ARCP II-NPCO) who also attended the activity. Through the concreting and rehabilitation of Sumogot FMR subproject, travel cost for agriculture produce and travel time for motorists plying the road will significantly decrease.
Bumbaran Mayor Jamal E. Manabilang and DAR-ARMM Secretary Macmillan A. Lucman lead the regional and local official in the groundbreaking ceremonies, marking the start of the FMR concreting in Bumbaran ARC, Bumbaran.
After the groundbreaking, an orientation and consultation meeting ensued in Cagayan de Oro City for local government units (LGUs) included for expansion and in the Agraian Reform Community (ARC) cluster including the municipalities of Butig, Lumbayanague, Kapai, Kapatagan and Taraka. The meeting gave emphasis on the complementation and integration activities under the community-driven development, agriculture and enterprise development and rural infrastructure components of the Project as well as fund disbursement requirements and procedures, and zeroed in on soliciting support from the local chief executives (LCEs) of expanded LGUs in ARMM.
At the end of the activity, the LCEs expressed full commitment to provide the required equity contribution and implement ARCP II in their respective municipalities in order to help the target agrarian reform beneficiaries increase their income and uplift the quality of their lives.
In the next two days, the NPCO together with the Engineering and Development Corporation of the Philippines (EDCOP) validated several proposed subprojects in several municipalities in the said province including the Rehabilitation of Taraka Communal Irrigation System (CIS) in Taraka and concreting of Pindolonan-Pantao-Madacar FMR in Kapai. The NPCO spoke with target agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) including irrigators service association (ISA) regarding the package of development assistance provided by the Project to ARBs including the roles of these organizations in the maintenance of the subproject while EDCOP made initial analysis on the technical specifications of the proposed subprojects.
Representatives from the Provincial Project Management Office (PPMO) Lanao del Sur and from the Special Management Team (SMT) also provided valuable inputs during the meeting and onsite validation activities.
-Lifted from Momentum DAR-ARCP2 publication Vol. 3, July-September 2013
A total of seventeen (17) common service facilities were turned-over to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in DAR-ARMM operational areas of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
The physical delivery of the equipments were carried out after the issuance and acceptance of acknowledgement receipt executed last April 12, 2013 by and between DAR-ARMM Regional Secretary Atty. Aquino j. Sajili and representatives of the recipient ARBOs that took place in DAR-ARMM regional office . The activity was witnessed by Assistant Secretary for Operations Macmillan Lucman, PAROs of Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Sulu and key staffs of DAR-ARMM.
Initial delivery of facilities was undertaken to Gulangan Farmers Association of Sulu and Tongehat Farmers Association of Tawi-Tawi with one (1) cassava granulator each. This was followed by another delivery to Bunawan Tri-people Marketing Cooperative of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao with one (1) combine corn harvester, one (1) cultivator and four (4) reapers.
The last set of machineries delivered were for OISCA Marketing Multipurpose Cooperative of Poona-Bayabao, Lanao del Sur in a form of one (1) thresher, cultivator and four (reapers).
The farm implements awarded to ARBOs through the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Services (ARCCESS) program are expected to enhance productivity and increase income of seven thousand two hundred five (7,205) agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) with twenty thousand three hundred thirty six (20,336) landholdings.