COTABATO CITY (PNA) – Eleven government agencies in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have started implementing flagship projects in the region to be financed by the national government’s Transition Investment Support Plan (TISP) for ARMM. Acting Regional Governor Mujib Hataman said these government agencies have already laid down the project framework in time for its immediate implementation as part of President Aquino’s reform program for the regional government.

He said the concerned government agencies and the budget from TISP will be made public in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

ARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

President Aquino, in his speech during the ARMM LGU convention in Davao City last week, told ARMM officials that his government is determined to implement the necessary reforms in the region.

He challenged ARMM leadership to make use of the funds for the benefit of ARMM constituents, and warned them that the funds will be reverted back to the national treasury once these are not used correctly.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF-ARMM), which has P510 million will have the following projects: farm-to-market roads, municipal fishing ports and halal production projects.

The national greening program, a nationwide tree planting program of President Aquino, will be implemented in the ARMM by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-ARMM) with a budget of R49.586 million.

The Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG-ARMM), allotted with R1.27-billion budget, will implement the following projects: potable water supply project; construction of municipal halls, public markets; slaughterhouses; Yakan training center; rehabilitation of jails; establishment of police stations; provision of police vehicles; construction of fire stations; provision of fire trucks and governance reforms.

Massive rural electrification program for sitios will be implemented by Department of Energy-National Electrification Program with a budget of R200 million.

The Department of Health (DOH-ARMM), with a TISP budget of R956 million, will commit the following projects: health infrastructures projects; Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) Equipment; provisions for medical equipment, land ambulance and sea ambulance.

With a budget of R24.650 million, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ARMM) will implement the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program.

Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC-ARMM) will ensure the rehabilitation of Jolo Seaport and the rehabilitation of Sanga-Sanga airport with a TISP budget of P80 million.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-ARMM), which has the biggest pie among the agencies in the TISP fund of P2.85 billion, will implement the following projects: Preventive maintenance of national arterial or secondary roads; Rehabilitation/reconstruction of damaged paved national roads; Upgrading of National Arterial or Secondary Roads; Replacement of national bridges.

With a budget of P1.97 billion, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-ARMM) will administer the following projects: Core shelters assistance program for Internally Displaced Families; Supplemental feeding program; Day Care Center; Emergency shelter assistance; Cash for work; and Livelihood assistance.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-ARMM), with P60 million, will facilitate the immediate implementation of the following projects: Business Permits and Licensing System Streamlining Program; Halal Food Industry Advocacy and Promotions; Operationalization of Halal Laboratory; Regular OTOP (One Town One Product) program; Computerization of Business Name Registration System; OTOP Flagship-Industry Clusters Development; Strengthening the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Rehabilitation of rubber plant.

With a budget of P61.64 million, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA-ARMM) will implement the Training for Work Scholarship Program; Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) and Skills Job Program for Youth and Ulamas (Muslim religious leaders).

Hataman said President Aquino has ordered the creation of Project Management Office with the main function: monitoring status of projects and communicating progress and impact to the National Steering Committee.

This is to ensure that all projects funded under the TISP, also known as stimulus funds, will be religiously implemented and all transactions under it will be transparent and subject to scrutiny of the tax paying public.

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