ARMM introduces new program to address local governance and community empowerment
Cotabato City (16 January 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao launched a new government program on Thursday to help strengthen local governance and empower communities in the region.
The Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment (ARMM-BRIDGE) program is a follow up to the ARMM Social Fund Project (ASFP), which ended last year, and complements the existing Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (HELPS) program of the regional government.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said the program was patterned after the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) of the government. NCDDP covers 851 municipalities nationwide.
However, it does not include ARMM. In concurrence to the region’s unique culture and governance system, the Autonomous Regional Government requested the national government to implement a similar program in the region.
Hataman said ARMM-BRIDGE was conceptualized last year and will begin its initiatory phase this month.
He said it will initially cover this year 45 barangays in 15 target municipalities in the five component provinces of the region, with a budget of P120 million, but will eventually include other municipalities.
Targets include the municipalities of Balindong, Taraka and Lumba-Bayabao in Lanao del Sur province; Barira, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, and Matanog in Maguindanao province; Sumisip, Tipo-tipo and Tuburan in Basilan province; Pandami, Parang and Talipao in Sulu province; and Sibutu, Simunul and Tandubas in Tawi-Tawi province.
A budget of P22 billion is needed to realize the full-blown implementation of the program.
Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said program aims to improve “local governance and strengthen partnership between and within the target communities.”
She said The MDP and performance of the mayors and key stakeholders of target municipalities will be reviewed and assessed before they can fully qualify.
She said the composition of the erstwhile project management office of ASFP has been tasked to handle the initial stage of the program, which includes training and capacity-building and technical assistance on the preparation of Municipal Development Plan (MDP).(Bureau of Public Information)