‘Quick Impact Projects are living testimony of peace’: BDA Executive Director Yacob

Jolo, Sulu – Twenty quick impact projects (QIPs) for the Bangsamoro communities implemented in conflict affected-areas in Mindanao were completely turned-over to its recipient communities in Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Mindanao regions. 

A multi-purpose hall building that forms part of the QIPs under the Comprehensive Capacity Development Project for the Bangsamoro (CCDP-B) of the Bangsamoro Transition Socio Economic Office (BTC-SEO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was awarded to the people of Barangay Mungit-Mungit, Talipao, Sulu on May 25, 2016.

“This (QIPs) is a living testimony of peace and so let’s celebrate the day and the days to come in shaa Allah (If God wills) and called it a success,” said a statement by BDA Executive Director Mohammad Yacob read before the community residents by Jodsbarie Compania, a representative of BDA Central Management Office in the ceremony.

Yacob is referring to quick impact projects such as multi-purpose hall buildings, school buildings, and warehouses with solar driers implemented in both Bangsamoro core and non-core territory areas.

“The purpose of this activity is to bring together all stakeholders of the project to realize that peace really exists in Bangsamoro areas”, Yacob said in his message.

Yacob thanked the partners involved in the projects.

Norodin Salam, Project Manager of the CCDP-B mentioned three significant things to remember, the first he said, is that these projects are fruits of peace, second is the observance of respect, and third is analyzing the situation.

“We must hold on to these fruits of peace, we’ll never let this lost from us,” he said.

“The GPH-MILF Peace Process’ 17 years and beyond made many positive changes in our communities,” Salam said.

Salam however said that this development was not measured by infrastructure project alone like the building that was constructed. “But it is measured with symbiotic relationship between and among peoples in the community”, he added.

Salam said: “We need to observe respect; respect our leaders, the MILF Central Committee and its peace panel. Whatever they may decide, we must respect that because that is good for us”. 

In analyzing the situation he said, “We must be observant. We should observe whatever happens in our community and respond to it accordingly”.

Malik Caril of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (MILF-CCCH) who has been escorting the team said that,  “In achieving change, “change must come first within oneself and in the community”.

On the other hand, Kasan “Jun” Usop, Jr was tasked to deliver the message of JICA Cotabato Project Office Head and Chief Leader Naoyuki Ochiai. 

“The 20 project sites were chosen because they were the most neglected and most affected by conflict in Mindanao hence, it is only fitting that these communities shall reap early the dividends of peace”, said Ochiai. 

“The JICA extends appreciations to BTC, BDA who made regular monitoring and coordination with LGUs (MLGUs and BLGUs) including MILF political committees, the contractor and local consultants, peoples’ organizations and community members,” Ochiai said in his statement read by Kasan, Jr. 

Ochia highlighted that the projects will not be completed successfully without the support and cooperation of all stakeholders.

“From now on, we hope that this multipurpose hall will be a place that will witness a milestone in the life of people here in Mungit-Mungit…a place that will serve as a classroom where students can study their lessons and where community residents can improve skills and capacity through trainings…and open for Muslims, Christians and Indigenous Peoples”, Ochiai said in his statement.

 “This place will also be utilized for community gatherings like consultations in order for residents to fully understand the current situation with regards to peace process. This place will witness how Bangsamoro unites for the realization for the establishment of Bangsamoro government”, Ochiai further said.

Nodora Halil, BDA Community Organizer said “This is a very important project for us so we have to take good care of it”.

Other speakers who extended their message of support were Masnuna Sali, President of the Paghambuuk (United) Peoples’ Organization; Liuk Manny Tulawie, Barangay Chairman of Mungit-Mungit, Talipao; Hadji Basaron Kamlon,  MILF Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG)-Western Mindanao and Prof. Alih Sakaluran Aiyub, Project Coordinator for Building Foundation of Governance of the CCDP-B.

The CCDP-B is a partnership development capacity building program between the BTC and JICA signed in 2013 and being implemented for three years until 2016, however it is extended until 2019. 

 It recently revised its components such as Building Foundation of Governance, Public Service Delivery, and Development Plan for the Bangsamoro.