ARMM provides P12.6 million in livelihood assistance to cooperatives
COTABATO CITY - Livelihood projects worth P12.6 million under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao's banner program Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (HELPS) will be awarded to various cooperatives in ARMM.
The livelihood assistance, extended to the beneficiaries through ARMM’s Science and Technology department (DOST-ARMM), comprises nine bakery projects in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi; two organic or vermi-composting fertilizer production in Lanao del Sur; and three mat-weaving projects in Tawi-Tawi.
Mon-Em Abangad, DOST-ARMM information officer, said three bakery projects were already turned over to cooperative-beneficiaries in Basilan province on April 12. The cooperatives, he said, were provided capital funds and their members given skills training.
“We trained them on bread, cake, and pastry making, and basic hand washing. We also gave inputs on food safety hazards and the Halal certification process,” said Abangad.
The cooperative recipients of HELPS projects are Switch Yakal Consumers Cooperative in Lantawan; Badja Kahapan Agri-Farmers Producers Cooperative in Tipo-Tipo; and Pintasan Consumers Cooperative in Mohammad Ajul.
“Masaya po kami sa proyektong ibinigay sa amin dahil magkakaroon na kami ng pagkakakitaan, may pang gastos na kami araw-araw (We are happy we are given this project, now we can make both ends meet everyday),” said Nihma Asanji, 27, a member of the Badja Kahapan Agri-Farmers Producers Cooperative.
Abangad said the projects will help improve the living conditions of the residents in their respective communities. He added these will also create jobs and provide additional income to members of the cooperative-beneficiaries.
The six remaining bakery projects will be implemented in the barangays of Poblacion in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; and Puukan Laminusa in Siasi, San Raymundo and Walled City in Jolo, Bilaan Poblacion in Talipao, and Baligtang in Pandami, all in the province of Sulu.
On Wednesday, April 20, the agency turned over a vermi-composting project in barangay Daguan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur to Malinday Daguan Farmers Producers Cooperative.
The same project will be turned-over to Radapan Poblacion Fertilizer Livelihood Farmers Producers Cooperative in Radapan Poblacion, Pagiapo, Lanao del Sur on April 23.
Meanwhile, mat weaving projects will be implemented in the barangays of Balimbing in Panglima Sugala, and Unas-Unas and Tong Tampakan in South Ubian, all in the province of Tawi-Tawi.
HELPS is a priority program of the regional government under the Hataman administration. It aims at providing basic intervention to poor and depressed areas in the region.
The regional government has identified 200 barangays as priority project recipients under the HELPS program in 2015-2016. The ARMM government has earmarked P10-million worth of various projects for each of the targeted barangays.