COTABATO CITY – DAR ARMM in coordination with civil society organizations (CSOs) and other concerned line agencies conducted a 2-day validation of Program for the Enhancement of Agriculture Towards Community Empowerment also known as PEACE, last November 23-24 at Cotabato City. In this event, representatives from the five provincial offices of DAR presented their plans under this program.
PEACE is a special program with the combined concept of having common service facilities and social and economic infrastructure, inspired by both ARCCESS and HDAP. The program is a brainchild of DAR ARMM under the leadership of Regional Secretary Amihilda Sangcopan. It is intended to be piloted on ARMM areas starting early next year.
Its approach is comprehensive with strategic support service mechanism from the agency while giving premium to the grievances of every ARPs. Its implementation is foreseen to contribute to the overall goal of rural poverty reduction in ARMM areas.
In an opening message given by Regional Secretary Amihilda Sangcopan, she expressed that PEACE is a plan that came from the ARPs themselves and that their entitlement of having its ownership will help in the attainment of its goals.
The nitty-gritty of the plan can be traced back to the communities themselves which determined their problems in particular. In having this approach, it can be assured that interventions will be correspondent to the identified actual problems.
In the process of consolidating the plan and delivering the presentation, Chief-of-Staff of the regional secretary, Noemi P. Barretto assisted the DARPO-Basilan; followed by Datu Amenodin T. Cali, Executive Director of Kalimudan Foundation, Inc. who worked with DARPO-Lanao del Sur; Irene Dillo, Director of Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON) and Jennie B. Tenorio of Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party-List provided support to DARPO-Maguindanao; Isa Tom del Monte of AMIN Party-List and Yasmin Manongkarang of Regional Economic Zone Authority (REZA)-ARMM with DARPO-Sulu; Arlene S. Aming of Tawi-Tawi Alliance of Civil Society Organizations, Inc. (TACOS) with DARPO-Tawi-Tawi. By which, all were consolidated with the facilitation of Cong. Ariel C. Hernandez, former AMIN Party-List Representative/Balay-Mindanaw.
The panelists in the presentation gave particular attention on how DARPOs should identify their strategies for implementation. They highlighted the need for it to be efficient in the sense that will lead towards sustainability in the community.
Regional Secretary Sangcopan presented the “ARMM Data on its Poverty Incidence,” where she raised the concern on the status of the agrarian reform partners (ARPs) profiling. Secretary Sangcopan highlighted that profiling is an imperative in order to implement PEACE and that it is instrumental in reaching the actual and targeted beneficiaries.
Camar Saumay, OIC CARPO for Administration of DARPO Maguindanao presented the concept of Islamic Microfinance. It was introduced as an alternative component of the program. It was further discussed that through Islamic Microfinance the ARPs will have better access to finances with less encumber due to its features.
Market linkages of ARPs was given particular attention by the REZA-ARMM during the discussion. With the agreement of the panel, REZA introduced two strategic plan on agro-industry sector of ARMM, which at the event will conduct market profiling. The result of this market assessment will be used in marketing strategy formulation and in the conduct of the appropriate training programs.
The conduct of a feasibility study was the prevailing suggestion from among the participating groups. Accordingly, it is in order to guarantee the program’s impact and ensure its sustainability in catering the needs and improving the lives of the ARPs