MOTC, MinDA initiate the Scoping Mission with JTFCT, OPAPRU in Barira Municipality
Minister Dickson P. Hermoso with Director General Atty. Roslainie L. Macao-Maniri, with the lead agency, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), headed by Secretary Maria Belen Sunga Acosta, Co-chair of Joint Task Force on Camp Transformation (JTFCT) MP Engr. Baintan A. Ampatuan, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU), and 1st Marine Brigade Col. Eric A. Macaambac, PN (M), paid a courtesy call to Mayor Abdul Rauf D. Tomawis and Vice Mayor Bahrain M. Dagalangit on June 28, 2022, and later on conducted a scoping mission in the area of Barira to personally visit the sites, determine the parameters and to assess the feasibility of features for developing future initiatives that would, in turn, be beneficial to generating revenue and spur socio-economic development in this area of the region.
Propelled by a series of meetings between MOTC and MinDA, the scoping mission aimed to gather baseline information in identifying areas to advance peace and development in Mindanao and actively participate the Bangsamoro Region in the Brunei-Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). This mission was a breakthrough as it was the first engagement of MOTC and MinDA with the LGU Barira to explore the possibility of development plans in the area.
In her statement during the program, Sec. Acosta said, “tourism is a big economic driver that will accelerate the socio-economic growth of the municipality because of its multiplier effect in the development and improvement of the livelihood of the residents in the area. Most especially in this digital age, tourists can immediately share their experience in the place through their various social media platforms.”
Meanwhile, Minister Hermoso narrated a brief history of the place, the people, and the situation when Barira was in complete mayhem during the war when he was still in OPAPP (now OPAPRU). Barira was the last place people would like to visit during that time. But the narration reached a milestone of significant change from MILF camp to a potential tourist destination in BARMM. “We recognize the favorable impact of this change in the overall image of the place. Thus, we continuously make an effort to further the development in Barira with the help of MinDA.” He further stated.
MOTC would continue to work and connect with reputable institutions like MinDA, JTFCT & OPAPRU to facilitate the improvement of Barira in routes, ports, and transportation and communications services.
In conclusion, the team visited the tourist spot in Barira and couldn’t help but stand in awe and wonder at the majestic Bulubudtua Falls with high hopes that people would have that sense of pride in being part of progress in the once-war-torn town.