DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday announced the approval of a P8.95-billion transition investment plan for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) aimed at improving the living conditions of its constituents.
The ARMM covers the provinces of Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan, and Lanao del Sur.
“Included in this plan is providing safe potable water for 77 areas in the region. We already had initial assessment in five towns in Basilan, 21 in Lanao del Sur, 34 in Maguindanao, eight in Sulu, and nine in Tawi-Tawi,” the President said in yesterday’s closing ceremony of the ARMM Convention on Local Governance at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao here.
Aside from potable water, the President said the ARMM transition investment plan would also cover projects involving infrastructure, core shelter assistance program for families displaced by the ongoing conflict, farm-to-market roads, rehabilitation and repair of roads and bridges, and electrification.
But the President said there have been projects included in the transition investment plan that have been marked as “not yet started” when these are supposed to be ongoing already.
“They better have a good explanation on this or else the next time they ask for a budget, we will not give them anything anymore. It would be better to rechannel the fund to agencies that have been doing well in spending their funds for their corresponding projects under the same program,” he said.
Aquino also cited the performance of ARMM officer-in-charge Gov. Mujib Hataman who took over last December.
Meanwhile, Aquino said ARMM residents can now vote without fear and not being dictated by those in power.
“We are going to clean the voters’ list in the (ARMM) to bring back the worth of your vote,” he said. - By Edith Regalado