LARBECO Compound, Lamitan City, Basilan
October 10, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the distribution of several agri-fishery projects of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the farmers and fishermen of Basilan during the “Tapatan: Gobyerno at Mamamayan” program held at the Lamitan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (LARBECO) compound in Barangay Limo-ok, Lamitan City, Basilan.

Seventy (70) motorized fiberglass boats, seven (7) farm tractors and several other agri-fishery equipment, seeds and seedlings were distributed among several beneficiaries from different towns of Basilan. Checks worth PhP 5 million were also divided among different recipients and local government units (LGUs).

“Sa gobyernong ito, may parte kayo sa pera,” the President said when he promised support for the Filipino farmers and fisher folks in the province of Basilan. He added that the funds would be timely and would be used to support them.

He discussed the financial hardship brought by coconut pests to the farmers of Basilan and warned the fisher folks to stop dynamite fishing.

“Do not destroy the marine life. That would destroy your children…. Lahat ng kailangan ninyo, binibigay namin kaagad. Kung may kulang, ihahabol namin,” he told them.

He encouraged the people to talk to the government when issues arise, saying that fighting government forces would not resolve their problems. He reiterated his promise to bring peace to Mindanao by stamping out crime and illegal drugs. He added that Nur Misuari, leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), may come out of hiding next week to pursue peace talks.

He also addressed the local government officials in Basilan on having a federal form of government, saying that changing the constitution is one of the major desires of the Mindanaoan leaders.

The President ended his speech by promising to start the upgrade of the local hospital within the year and to build additional school infrastructures. He said that if funds would allow it, the administration would develop the energy infrastructures in Basilan.

President Duterte was accompanied by Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol and Basilan Governor Hadjiman Saliman in the event.

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