Davao City — Due to its commitment to peace, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has intensified its support to Bangsamoro communities that were heavily affected by wars. The JICA in partnership with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) had implemented Quick Impact Projects (QIP) like multi-purpose halls, school buildings, and solar dryers with warehouses in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Lanao areas, Davao Region, Sarangani, Zamboanga Sibugay, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
“There are twenty infrastructure projects that will be constructed in the conflict-affected areas including IP communities,” Nomaire Mustapha, Project Coordinator for Public Service Delivery component of BTC-JICA, said.
During the QIP ground breaking ceremony held in Kibleg, Upi, Maguindanao on March 7, BTC Chairman Mohagher Iqbal explained that these projects are only pilot testing and that more projects will be implemented in Bangsamoro communities once the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) replaces the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as well as during the regular Bangsamoro government.
Davao region is among the beneficiaries of QIP’s. The project sites are located in Sitio Libuac, Lucatan, Taragona, Davao Oriental and in Purok 6-A, Muslim Village, Laak, Compostela Valley. The said communities are recipient of two multi-purpose halls worth 2.1 Million pesos each.
The people’s organization in the community will be managing the building after completion, Mustapha said.
Mustapha also said that the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) will closely monitor the implementation of the project along with Philkoei. Philkoei is a consultant for construction and social preparation.
Roy Lopez of the MILF political committee emphasized in his inspirational message during the ground breaking program on March 10 in Sitio Libuac, that these QIP’s are a manifestation and commitment of the MILF towards peace. “The leadership of MILF took this project to show our commitment for peace and care for our constituents and other peace stakeholders,” he said. “The success of this project will depend on the people’s organization and the Bangsamoro community concerned,” he added.
“It is a product of peace being provided for the people of Taragona, and of course with the commitment and generosity of our partners within and outside of our countries like the JICA and other donors,” Mayor Nestor Uy said.
He also said that if there is peace—peace within self, family and community, progress will be observed in community as manifested in the ground breaking ceremony for the Quick Impact Project.
Mayor Uy and the Mayor of Laak Hon. Carlito Pacatang assured their constituents that they will support all endeavors in line with peace and development. They thanked the BTC, JICA and BDA for their assistance.
The contractor for Taragona and Laak, BJRN and Associates Construction Corp. said that they really want the project because they are Bangsamoro and the beneficiaries are also Bangsamoro.
Other contractors assigned in other regions to construct the quick impact projectsare Minrock Multi-Builders, Angkat Construction & Supplies, Dawing Construction and FM4 Builders.
The projects are expected to be completed after three months. They are results of a meeting between JICA President Akihiro Tanaka and MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim after the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in Malacañan Palace, Manila.