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President Duterte has been serving our country for half of his term now and we have seen many improvements, most especially in economy, infrastructure development, and tourism, among others.
It was recently reported that the administration, through the Department of Transportation and other agencies, has completed 17 airport projects within the last three years. There are also other infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build program that are in the works to provide us with better connectivity and mobility throughout the country.
But aside from these, the administration is also persistent in alleviating poverty through livelihood and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development. The government has been supportive of all the initiatives for our micro and small entrepreneurs including the programs of Go Negosyo and my office as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship. We are one with the government in providing additional knowledge and skills to better equip our entrepreneurs toward their success and development.
Additionally, we are also working on programs supporting the vision of the President of lasting peace for Mindanao through development programs for low-income and conflict-ridden communities. The communities are in the provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Through the help of the government, big brother companies and other stakeholders, various initiatives for peacebuilding, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development have been implemented.
These programs started in December 2016 when we launched the Negosyo for Peace in Malacanang. Fast forward to today, we are pleased to share some of our achievements in this area of our advocacy.
Sulu is one of the first pilot areas for our sustainable economic development projects. Through our partners such as Wilcon, Manny O, Uratex, MVP Group, Indian Chamber of Commerce and others, we have completed and turned over five Kapatid Villages located in Jolo, Talipao, Patikul, Maimbung, and Kalinggan-Calauang. We are still building homes in Pata and Siasi.
Classrooms, school supplies, chairs and tables, and other educational support were also provided by our partners – the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Bookstore, Uratex, Advance Paper, Funtastic, ATISCO and the Malvar family. Our Education for Peace and Employment was also supported by NCST, the Sulu Provincial Local Government, and Indian Chamber. We also had inclusive business programs such as the farm training, seaweed training, poultry farm, and fishing boats supported by SM Foundation, Harbest, W Group and Bounty Fresh.
The provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, including the city of Marawi are also beneficiaries for our Negosyo for Peace projects. These provinces are rich in agricultural land, thus, we have provided several agri projects including the establishment of nine model farms that provides mentorship and agri-technology training for communities. These farms are supported by Convergys, CDO Foodsphere, Century Pacific Group, Vita Coco, Marcventures, Bo’s Coffee, SEIPI, Rotary Club 3860, Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class 86, UK Embassy, ISOC and Udenna Foundation.
Our partners SL Agritech, Aboitiz, Pilmico, Jardine, and Kennemer Foods also provided training and farm support for hybrid rice, yellow corn production, and cacao, respectively. A tractor and truck were also donated by French Baker and United Auctioneers to support these farms in production and logistical requirements of transporting their crops. Aside from our farmers, fishermen of Ditsaan Ramain Association also received fishing gear from the Indian Chamber and Speedo. The Philippine Franchise Association also held a comprehensive discussion on franchising.
One of our most recent projects is with the group of Commander Bravo of MILF who I met personally in Manila last February. Our partners have supported them with construction materials and other necessities for their Masjid. Our partner Agua Vida provided them also with a water-refilling station.
Recently, we were featured in Gina Lopez’s show G Diaries for our project in Upi, Maguindanao. This project is supported by I LOVE Foundation and Jardine.
Our partners Philippine Airlines, LBC, 2Go, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also provided the logistical support in moving all the donations from our partners to the communities in Mindanao.
These initiatives are on top of our mentoring programs Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program with the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) with the Department of Agriculture.
Going back, since its launching, these humanitarian and livelihood projects are now valued at more than P135 million. These programs have transformed communities into productive members of the society. To date, the model farms have benefitted 2,448 farmers, and their families have enjoyed the fruits of their labor.
We extend our utmost gratitude to all our partners. The Negosyo for Peace, led by our adviser Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, is a testament of two things: First, that public and private sector can work together in providing development for all. And second, that prosperity, through entrepreneurship and livelihood, can results in peace in our communities.