MinDA to form IMAG for Jolos recovery
ASSESSMENT AND INTERVENTION. MinDA Secretary Pinol and Sulu Governor Abdursakur Tan (in white polo) discussing immediate and long-term intervention programs to assist the more than 2,000 affected families in a visit at Brgy. Takut-Takut, Jolo, Sulu Thursday, 13 February 2020.JOLO, SULU – Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is set to form an Infrastructure Management Advisory Group (IMAG) to lead in the housing reconstruction program in the three barangays razed by the fire incident last 3 February 2020 in Jolo, Sulu.

MinDA Chairman Secretary Emmanuel Piñol during his quick assessment visit in the area, on Thursday, 13 February, saw the need to establish the advisory group to expedite reconstruction of houses.

“I would like to emphasize that right now we are looking at this undertaking as a joint effort of the local govenrment, military, national government, and pati private sector para makatulong din,” said Piñol.

He said that the IMAG will be a multi-stakeholder group composed of relevant government agencies, Jolo Municipal Government, Provincial Government of Sulu, academe, and private sector.

The group will on top of the reconstruction of houses for the 2,379 affected families, and in determining necessary long-term development programs needed by the 1,377 households who lost their immediate properties in the barangays of Chinese Pier, Takut-Takut, and Tulay.

Piñol together with Jolo Municipal Mayor Kerkhar Tan and Governor Sakur Tan visited Brgy.Takut-Takut Thursday as part of the overall assessment of the damages and current situation of the residents.

“This is the initial phase of consultative process prior to delivering interventions,” said Piñol during the site visit at Brgy. Takut-Takut.

He said that DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu already committed 300,000 board feet of confiscated flitches and lumber for the rebuilding of the houses of affected residents.

Pinol also mentioned that during his meeting with BARMM officials the night before his visit to Jolo, President Rodrigo Duterte also committed to help so that the families of the three barangays could rebuild their lives.

During the quick visit, the officials also identified housing and foot bridge reconstruction as most urgent. Relocation site is not a strategic option for the residents according to the local government since there is no available land area, and it will take them away from their livelihood which is fishing.

Aside from the establishment of IMAG, Piñol also emphasized the need to formulate a comprehensive development plan for the area.

“For the long-term rehabilitation plan of the areas considered as ground zero, Piñol suggested that a comprehensive development plan or Jolo Development Plan should be made and not only implement a piecemeal initiative,” Piñol said.

“We will come up with a comprehensive proposal and present it to the President,” said Piñol in a meeting with the LGU leaders.

MinDA proposes chicken farming, Halal cattle fattening production, and solar-power energy for electricity and water desalination as components of the development strategies to be included in the proposal to be prepared by the agency in two weeks.

MinDA will tap the assistance of its development partners like Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), foreign donors, and private sector organizations, among others for the implementation of the Jolo Development Plan.

Similar with the Municipality of Taraka in Lanao del Sur, MinDA will also identify a town in the Province of Sulu that will be model learning centers for livelihood and agricultural programs to better the lives of constituents, and assist in alleviating poverty in the BARMM region.

MinDA will revisit Jolo in two or three weeks after the composition of IMAG is finalized. The agency will present the initial blueprint of house reconstruction program based on the result of the quick assessment conducted.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go also visited the evacuation areas where he pledged to provide Php 6,000.00 cash assistance to each family through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo na ngayon mas nararamdaman natin ang serbisyo ng pamahalaang nasyunal para makatulong at umayos ang buhay ng ating mga taumbayan hindi lamang sa Jolo kundi sa buong lalawigan ng Sulu,” said Sulu Governor Abdursakur Tan.

Jolo Municipal Mayor Kerkhar Tan also expressed thanks to the national government, particularly to President Rodrigo Duterte for the attention and assistance being given to the affected families.

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