Photo by TABANG
COTABATO CITY—Under the Tulong Alay Sa Bangsamorong Nangangailan (TABANG) program of the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM), some 140 cows worth P5.6-million have been slated for distribution among resident farmers to spur agricultural productivity in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The cattle dispersal through the TABANG’s Oplan Bangsamoro Rapid Assistance (OBRA) program initially handed over 68 cows to farming cooperatives at a symbolic ceremony in Guindulungan, Maguindanao del Sur on May 9.
Asnur Pendatun, head of the TABANG’s livelihood unit, led the initial dispersal benefitting 12 farmers’ groups from the towns of Guindulungan, Rajah Buayan, Ampatuan, Datu Piang and Pagalungan in Maguindanao del Sur, and Matanog and Talayan in Maguindanao del Norte, as well as Cotabato City.
A similar dispersal ceremony involving 24 cows will be staged next week in Marantao, Lanao del Sur for organized farmers in the Maranao province, according to Pendatun.
The dispersal schedules for the rest of the 140 cattle will be done later for farming groups in other component areas of BARMM. The autonomous region covers the two Maguindanao provinces, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu as well as this city and 64 barangays of the special geographic area (SGA) in North Cotabato.
The OBRA program is also involved in promoting mechanized farming in the region, distributing farm tractors, crop threshers and transplanting facilities for 2022, 2023 and 2024, Pendatun said.
It is a long-term initiative designed to uplift farmers and fisherfolks in the Bangsamoro region, where lack of access to modern farming technologies have remained a government concern, he said.
OCM’s Chief Budget Officer Siettie Amina M. Abdulazis graced the May 9 distribution ceremony, it was learned.
Project TABANG is one of outreach channels of the OCM. The other channels include the Strengthening Access to Livelihood Assistance for Marginalized-Bangsamoro (SALAM), and the Ayudang Medikal Mula sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBAG).
The SALAM channel caters to families of members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while the AMBAG program is for all indigent patients inside and outside BARMM. The latter channel has so far served hundreds of needy patients, it was learned. (Myrna S. Tepadan/ with reports from Project TABANG)