Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sulu Praises US support to peace and development; hails Obama

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / August 18, 2009) – Sulu Governor Sakur Tan praised the United States on Tuesday for its continuing support to peace and development in the province.

Tan said the United States Agency for International Development donated thousands of books and reference materials on Monday through US Ambassador Kristie Kenny.

“We thank President Barack Obama and Ambassador Kristie Kenney and the people of the United States and all those who continue to help us through various humanitarian projects and peace and development programs for Sulu,” he told reporters.

Tan said a book fair was also held on Tuesday and attended by hundreds of teachers and students.

The USAID is an independent government agency that provides economic development and humanitarian assistance to advance US economic and political interests overseas.

Kenney for her part pledged to continue peace and development supports to Sulu, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, Tan said.

He said Kenney also led US officials in the inauguration of the multi-million two-storey building of the Area Coordination Center near the Provincial Capitol in Patikul town.

The ACC coordinate Sulu’s various non-governmental agencies, military, police, emergency services and other organizations and serves as an inter-agency communication network.

Tan said the ACC is a facility established as a proactive, reactive, and post conflict mechanism to address various concerns at regional and local levels of governance and to solve problems of coordination and response.

The ACC functions both as a system and as a council for planning, integrating, directing, supervising, and implementing line-up government programs and projects particularly on political, socioeconomic, cultural, religious, development, security and information issues, said Fazlur-Rahman Abdulla, ACC Executive Director.

“The newly-inaugurated ACC is worth more than P20 million and was funded by the United States government. We have now a total of 20 Area Coordinating Centers – one for each of Sulu’s 19 towns and the central ACC headquarters in Patikul town. The Tausug people appreciate President Obama's assistance and the US government's continued support to our efforts to sustain peace and development in Sulu,” Abdulla told the Mindanao Examiner by phone on Tuesday.

U.S. troops are deployed in Sulu on the request of the Philippine government, to train and advise the local military. They are also active in humanitarian missions and were working alongside with Filipino soldiers in development projects on poor areas in Jolo. (Jung Francisco)

No comments: