ARMM extends P11.3-M educational, livelihood assistance
Cotabato City (December 7, 2015) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) distributed P11.3 million in educational and livelihood assistance to students and cooperatives in the region. The aid extended is under the government’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) program of the region.
A total of 759 students received educational assistance amounting to P10,000 each for college students and P5,000 each for high school students. The beneficiaries are children, or immediate relatives, of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members in Maguindanao and Sulu.
Dong Anayatin, PAMANA-ARMM program manager, said tthe educational assistance was from the 2014 budget. He said it was a one-time grant and the beneficiaries were extensively chosen and recommendations of MNLF cooperative chairpersons were considered.
The program, Anayatin added, is targeting to help 3,200 college students and 2,073 high school students. Awarding of assistance to the beneficiaries from the other provinces is scheduled by the end of the year.
Najma Dimaporo, 17, a resident of Matanog, Maguindanao, said that she will use the educational assistance she received for her school fees. “Gagamitin ko pang-enrol ang perang aking nakuha. Dahil dito, makakatipid kami at matutulungan ko ang aking mga magulang (I will use the assistance for my enrollment. Because of this, we can save money and I can help my family),” she said.
“Sana panatilihinn ng ARMM government ang ganitong gawain upang matulungan nila ang marami pang tao (I hope the ARMM government continues this initiative to help more people),” she added. Najma is a first year student of the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English.
On the other hand, the livelihood assistance composed of 11 units of six-wheeler hauler trucks were given to three cooperatives in Maguindanao and eight cooperatives in Sulu.
The cooperative-beneficiaries are MNLF Agribusiness Cooperative, Ganasi Kandalamdinga Marketing Cooperative, and Malangit MNLF Farmers Marketing Cooperative in Maguindanao; and Buhanginan Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative, Sahabat Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative, Kausawan Agricultural Producers Cooperative, Shareif Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative, Buansa Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative, Suba-Suba Producers Cooperative, Bandang Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative, and Darayan Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative in Sulu.
Datu Halun Amilussin, 64, representative of Buansa Agri-Marine Producers Cooperative in Indanan, Sulu, said the hauler-truck his group received will help uplift the lives of the people in his barangay.
“Gagamitin namin itong truck para sa maliliit na negosyo sa aming barangay. Karamihan sa amin ay walang trabaho kung kaya malaking tulong ito hindi lang para kooperatiba namin kung hindi para sa buong barangay (We will use the truck to help small businesses in our barangay. Most of us are jobless and this will help not only our cooperative but also our barangay),” said Datu Halun.
Datu Halun is a father of eight and has been an MNLF member for decades. He thanked ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman for this initiative. “Nagpapasalamat kami kay Governor Hataman at nabigyan kami ng hanap buhay. Matagal na kaming naghihintay at ito ang unang beses na nakatanggap kami ng tulong mula nang mabuo ang aming kooperatiba noong 2011 (We would like to thank Governor Hataman for this project. We have waited long and this is the first time that we receive such project since the creation of our cooperative in 2011),” he said.
Anayatin said that the distribution of the livelihood assistance is part of the Memorandum of Agreement with the PAMANA-ARMM Project Management Office. It was implemented by the region’s Agriculture and Fisheries Department (DAF-ARMM). He said that it is a continuing activity of partner agencies in the region.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman with Anayatin, and Atty. Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary and concurrent officer-in-charge of DAF-ARMM, led the distribution of educational and livelihood assistance on December 3 at this city’s ARMM compound. (Bureau of Public Information)