by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The second model of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Resettlement Area in Mindanao will soon rise in the middle of a forested area in the young town of Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte.

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, agencies involved in the BP2 Project led by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will participate in the groundbreaking ceremonies to mark the establishment of the Woodridge Village, a 200-hectare carved out of a reservation for the Palayan ng Bayan Program of the previous governments.

The 200-hectare farm will include a subdivision with 200 individual housing units which will be funded by the National Housing Authority with other agencies doing their share.

Zamboanga del Norte Gov. Alberto Uy and Kalawit Mayor Salvador Antojado will lead the local officials while MinDA will lead other national agencies in the groundbreaking ceremonies.

When completed, the communal farm will accommodate 200 families coming home from Metro Manila who will be involved in farming activities with a pre-identified market.

The Kalawit Woodridge Village is the second model of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Resettlement Area in Mindanao.

The other model is the Kauswagan Green Village in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte where another 200 families will be resettled in a 6.3-hectare property.

Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado, an organic farming advocate, said the resettlement area has been named Green Village because the resettled families will be involved in growing organic vegetable and raising organic chicken.

Just like in Kalawit, MinDA has already pre-identified the buyer of the produce of Kauwagan’s Green Village.

Comment (0) Hits: 872
100920 DBP

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Cassava farmers in at least four Lanao del Sur towns soon will no longer have to travel for two hours to reach either the city of Pagadian or Cotabato to encash checks paid to them by the processing company.

Before the end of the year, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will establish three Automated Teller Machine (ATM) units in the towns of Malabang and Balabagan and in the compound of the cassava starch manufacturing company, Matling Industrial Commercial Corporation (MICC).

On instructions of DBP President Emmanuel Herbosa, a DBP inspection team accompanied by officials of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) checked the three locations for the ATMs.

DBP Branch Manager Wilfredo Kaamino, who led the inspection team, approved three sites for the ATMs - one in the compound of the MICC for the use of the company and farmers who deliver cassava for processing, the second in the town hall of Malabang and the third in Balabagan towns.

The DBP and MinDA team met with the officers of MICC and the mayors of Malabang and Balabagan during the inspection trip yesterday.

Malabang Mayor Tomas Macapodi and Balabagan Mayor Edna Benito both thanked DBP and MinDA for working on the establishment of the ATMs in their towns.

MICC officials had earlier brought the problem of the lack of banking facilities to the MinDA Chairman during a visit to the company's processing facilities early this year.

Ace Gaccad, chief operations officer of MICC, said that farmers had to go to Pagadian City or Cotabato City to encase their checks or the money exchange outlets in the town which charge very high service fees.

Among the concerns raised by the banks in refusing to open facilities in the area was the security risks.

MinDA will address this concern by coordinating with the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to provide ample security to the bank armored cars which will supply the ATMs with cash.

DBP President Herbosa said the ATMs will be opened before the end of the year.

Comment (0) Hits: 867

by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

A California-based Fil-Am Supermarket chain has signified support for the “Adopt-a-Tribal Family” Program of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) by buying “Ube,” "Saba" bananas and aromatic coconut produced by the tribal communities in Mindanao.

Island Pacific Supermarket Chain Founder and Chief Executive Officer Niño Lim, in an FB messenger message to the MinDA Chairman said that Island Pacific, which has about 16 outlets in Eastern America, has been looking for suppliers of "Ube," "Saba," and aromatic coconut from the Philippines.

When informed that these products could be sourced from tribal communities now being assisted by government agencies led by MinDA, Lim said his company would be very interested to source the supplies from the tribal farms.

"That's amazing Sec. That would be an excellent program that Island Pacific would definitely want to take part in. I’ll communicate this with our marketing team as well," Lim said in his message to the MinDA Chairman.

"The demand here now is very strong but the problem is the supplies of "Ube" and "Buko Pandan" have been limited for several months now," he added.

MinDA is set to prepare a long-term marketing contract between Island Pacific Supermarket and the members of the "Lost Tribe" of Kapalong, Davao del Norte with the support of the provincial and municipal governments.

The Island Pacific CEO and MinDA were linked by California-based Fil-Ams Errol Santos and Fernandico Gonong, Jr. who both have pledged to support MinDA's initiatives and programs in Mindanao.

On Monday, Oct. 12, MinDA will lead other agencies of government in extending the initial interventions and support to the 150 member-families of the so-called "Lost Tribe" of Sitio Tapayanon, Gupitan, Kapalong.

The members of the Ata-Manobo tribe had lived deep in the jungles in the tribal-boundaries of Davao del Norte, Agusan Sur and Bukidnon were never served by government since birth.

Discovered by the Long Range Patrol of the Philippine Army in Feb. 2019 while pursuing a band of communist rebels, most of their houses were made out of round timber and tree barks and there was no school in the village.

Before the soldiers stumbled on the village, the communist New People's Army was in complete control of the community presenting themselves as the "government."

Only able-bodied men of the village served as the community's link to the the outside world and this happened only when they sold fibers of Abaca which grew wild in the forests to the nearest population centers in San Fernando, Bukidnon or Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

To do that, the men had to walk through the forests for two days carrying 15 to 30 kilos of Abaca fiber on their backs and coming back with salt, sugar, tobacco and rice.

On Monday, planting materials for Ube, Cardava or "Saba" bananas,"Buko Pandan" and Falcata tree seedlings will be brought to the area for the ceremonial launching of the Adopt-a-Tribal Family Program.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, Indigenous People's Commission head Sec. Allen Capuyan and the MinDA Chairman will represent the national government in the program.

The local governments will be led by Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib, Vice Gov. Rey Uy, Kapalong Mayor Tess Timbol and members of the provincial board.

The province's two Congressmen, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Alan Dujali are also expected to join the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement among the agencies involved in the "Adopt-a-Tribal Family" Program.

Housing assistance will be provided by the provincial government, training by TESDA, DSWD for initial food and clothing support, NCIP for community organizing and empowerment while MinDA will provide the master plan and the linkage with donors.

The "Adopt-a-Tribal Family" is expected to provide a template for a well-planned and sustainable intervention for the development of tribal communities in Mindanao.

Comment (0) Hits: 744
100920 Taraka

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Taraka, a poor town by the shores of Lake Lanao, is living up to expectations as the model town for self-reliant rural development in Lanao del Sur with the conduct of a public and transparent bidding for the P215-M Solar-Powered Irrigation and Water Supply Projects earlier this week.

Also included in the public bidding conducted by a well-organized Bids and Awards Committee was the supply of road building equipment which was included in the loan granted by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) which assisted the Taraka Local Government in preparing and packaging the SPIS, SPWS and equipment procurement program observed the proceedings.

When completed, the Solar-Powered Water Supply System will serve the potable water needs of the community which has relied on the Taraka River for their water needs for generations.

The six units of Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) will also provide water to an estimated 1,000 hectares of rice farms of the town where farmers could only harvest once a year.

The equipment and road building machinery will also facilitate the construction of roads in the town to facilitate the transport of goods.

Taraka Mayor Nashida Sumagayan and her husband, Odin, who is also the Vice Mayor, were the first local officials to approach MinDA for assistance in availing of the MinDA Water Supply Program during the launching in Davao City Dec. 6 last year.

MinDA Water Supply Program was designed to provide water supply systems both for drinking and irrigation to local government units in Mindanao using their own funds.

MinDA, the Department of Interior and Local Governments and the Development Bank of the Philippines are the agencies behind the MinDA Water Supply Program.

MinDA is currently assisting Taraka in establishing a database of all of its residents and farmer

beneficiaries of the Solar-Powered Irrigation System which is vital in ensuring the success of the project.

MinDA is also helping Taraka in organizing its Economic Enterprise Office which will manage the projects, collect water and irrigation fees to cover the payment of the loans.

MinDA has identified Taraka as its model town for comprehensive and well-planned rural development program in Mindanao, especially in the Bangsamoro Area.

Comment (0) Hits: 615
Photo from Presidential Communications Operations Office

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

With less than two years before the first Philippine President from Mindanao bows out of office, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) will host a series of face to face and virtual meetings with the region’s leaders to identify priority projects and programs which still need to be undertaken.

The forum, “Mindanao Speaks Up,” will also determine whether people’s expectations from President Rody Duterte’s presidency were sufficiently addressed.

This will then be referred to ranking officials of the Duterte Administration who are occupying Cabinet portfolios led by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, TESDA Secretary General Isidro Lapena, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Press Secretary Martin Andanar and Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority Chairperson Charito Plaza.

The process will start October at the provincial level where Governors and Mayors will lead the identification of at least one or two critical projects and programs needed to turn their areas’ economy around and touch the lives of people.

From there, the Governors in each of the six regions of Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao which is headed by a Chief Minister, will be asked to present each province’s output to the MinDA.

After all of the Regional outputs are collated, MinDA will invite all Cabinet level officials from Mindanao, including Undersecretaries, Mindanao Senators and key Congressional leaders to a forum where the Regional Development Council Chairman, with their Governors and City Mayors, will each present the critical programs and projects.

The proposal to hold the Mindanao Leaders’ Forum was actually suggested by Philippine Export Processing Zone Chairperson Charito Plaza to the Mindanao Development Authority.

She said that with less than two years left before the end of the term of the President, there are still many critical projects in Mindanao which have not been funded or implemented.

It was MinDA which came up with the idea of matching people’s expectations from their first President from Mindanao with what has been delivered over the last four years.

The “Mindanao Speaks Up” Forum outputs will be submitted for inclusion in the 2022 Budget of the President through the different Cabihet level officials from Mindanao.

Comment (0) Hits: 702