ARMM’s new anti-poverty program to improve LGUs, boost local partnerships
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao last week launched a new anti-poverty program that would help strengthen local governance and empower communities in the region.
The Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment or Bridge program is a follow up to the ARMM Social Fund Project, which ended in 2014, and complements the existing Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace, and Governance Synergy (Helps) program of the regional government.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the program was patterned after the National Community Driven Development Program (NCDDP) of the government covering 851 towns in the country.
However, the nationwide program has not included ARMM.
Hataman said Bridge was conceptualized in 2014 and would begin its initial phase this month.
He said for a start, it would have 45 barangays (villages) from 15 selected municipalities of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, with a budget of P120 million, but would eventually include other areas later.
The full implementation of the program would require a budget of P22 billion, the governor said.
ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said the program has been designed to help improve “local governance and strengthen partnership between and within the target communities.”
She said the mayors and other partner recipients of the program must show impressive performance to prove their worth as such would be reviewed and assessed before they could fully qualify.
She said the composition of the erstwhile project management office of the ARMM-Social Fund Program has been tasked to handle the initial stage of the program, which would include training and capacity-building and technical assistance on the preparation of Municipal Development Plan.
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