12,000 ARMM residents to receive livelihood funds
COTABATO CITY - As many as 12,000 residents in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ( ARMM) who wish to start up their own livelihood projects would receive financial assistance this year from the region’s Department of Social Welfare and Development ( DSWD- ARMM).
Rahima Alba, Social Welfare Secretary, said the beneficiaries are members of 480 Self Emp l o y m e n t Assistance- Kaunlaran ( SEA- K) associations across the region.
“Maibibigay na po natin kung ano ang nararapat sa bawat SEAK association ( We can now distribute what is due to each SEA- K association),” Sec. Alba said.
Sec. Alba added the capital funds will assist the beneficiaries to put up their own source of income such as small business, or to support their livelihood such as farming or fishing.
SEA- K associations, each composed of 25 members, were established in August 2012 through the initiative of DSWD- ARMM. Sec. Alba noted that the program was funded by the department’s Sustainable Livelihood Program ( SLP), which has a total funding of P120 million.
Eighty seven associations in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur received funding of P250,000 on Wednesday, January 20, in a ceremony held at the ARMM Compound here. Close to 400 more SEA- K associations from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi- Tawi are set to receive similar grants this year.
To be able to receive capital funds, associations must submit a livelihood proposal to be validated by the Regional Program Management Office of DSWD- ARMM. Sec. Alba noted that most of the proposals submitted were small businesses as well as fishing and farming- related projects.
The target recipients of the SLP are Moro National Liberation Front ( MNLF) members, and beneficiaries and nonbeneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the flagship initiative of DSWDARMM.
Among the recipients last Wednesday was Anisa Abdulfatah, 55, a resident of Poblacion, Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, who received P10,000. The money, she said, will be used to put up a small cafeteria.
Abdulfatah is the president of MNLF Women’s Business Sector based in Shariff Aguak. “Su mga tagapeda ko a mga babay na papedtindeg bun sa mga madido a pegkanan ( Some of the members will also set up small eateries, similar to mine),” Abdulfatah said.
During the event, ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia posed a challenge to the recipients. “Kailangan natin ng commitment galing sa mga benepisyaryo ng SLP na sana ay gamitin sa maayos itong capital fund na maibibgay sa inyo ( We need to ensure the commitment of our SLP beneficiaries to use the capital funds purposely),” Alamia said.
Sana lumago ang business na inyong ipapatayo o gagawin ( We hope that the business you will set up will prosper),” Alamia added. “This is one of the most important programs of DSWD,” Sec. Alba said.