By ALI G. MACABALANG
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is elated over the benefits it derives from a standing assistance offered by the management of a fleet of cargo planes for the airlift of the agency’s foods and goods aimed as relief of natural calamity-stricken areas or as showcase in the trailblazing “MinDA Tienda” project.
The PSI Cargo Plane management has partnered with the MinDA in the airlift of foods and goods via a project called “Mindanao Food Skyway.”
The project, the latest of innovative strides conceived by MinDA Chairman and Secretary Manny Piñol, was set for formal launch on Nov. 12. But the onslaught of typhoon Rolly that severely affected Luzon communities prompted the MinDA and the PSI management to move ahead for humanitarianism.
“The Mindanao Food Skyway is supposed to be launched on Nov. 12 with an inaugural shipment of fish and marine products from Tawitawi to La Union for the Baguio City (leg of) MinDA Tienda,” Sec. Piñol said in a post on Nov. 1.
With the rescheduled launch for typhoon victims, Sec. Piñol called on “Mindanao’s agriculture sector to prepare and anticipate food needs in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Rolly.”
He said made the call with a belief that the three cargo planes offered by the PSI management could be used to carry donated foods and goods from Mindanao-based sectors for the typhoon-affected in Luzon.
“Anticipating a crisis on food and other supplies in disaster-hit areas, I called PSI Air Cargo CEO Amirh Moghaddasi to prepare for an early activation of the Mindanao Food Skyway. I asked him to prepare PSI Air’s three cargo planes – 2 Boeing 737 and one Boeing 727 – for the food airlifting if necessary,” Piñol said.
Moghadassi, a Muslim, offered two Boeing 737 and one Boeing 727 planes on standby for possible airlift operations.
In his Facebook post, Piñol urged leaders of provinces affected by the typhoon could coordinate with the Mindanao Development Authority if they need food supplies.
“They could directly contact me, Undersecretary Janet Lopoz or Asst. Secretaries Romeo Montenegro and Cherry Santos Akbar,” he said.
The city government of Manila hosted the Oct. 23-25 episode of the MinDA TienDA, whichshowcased various raw and processed products from Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro autonomous region.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Damagoso was all praises for having tied up with the MinDA in his successful hosting of the three-day showcase, describing the occasion as the opening days of Manila markets for all products from the “Land of Promise” region.
At the height of the “MinDA Tienda sa Maynila,” which the PSI management also assisted, Sec. Piñol said, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong (a retired police general) came and asked for another episode in his city.
The MinDA staged its maiden episode of the special products showcase in Baguio City last August where hundreds or thousands of residents and visitors feasted on fruits and marine products sold on the event. (AGM)