|More Efficient Trade in Basilan|
Residents of Barangay Amaloy, in Unkaya Pukan, Basilan, are enjoying safer and more efficient water transport with the help of a new boat landing built by USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program under its Barangay Infrastructure Project (BIP). For years the coastal community, relatively isolated due to poor road conditions and intermittent clashes between government forces and rebel groups, had to cope with inefficient water transport. Most passengers could not climb on or off the old elevated boat landing and pier except at high tide; instead, they and their goods were ferried to and from the shore for an extra fee. The new GEM boat landing, equipped with a concrete pier head and staircase extending to low tide water levels, is more accessible and has reduced loading times, as and has helped to reduce the costs of shipping agriculture and aquaculture products to and from the municipality. The facility is one of 42 infrastructure projects—11 of them boat landings—constructed by the GEM Program in Basilan, under the oversight of the Mindanao Economic Development Council.
Published in Manila Bulletin, February 17, 2010