COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Livelihood projects worth P12.6 million under the region’s flagship program Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (HELPS) will be awarded to various cooperatives in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Nine bakery projects in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi; two organic or vermi-composting fertilizer productions in Lanao del Sur; and three mat-weaving projects in Tawi-Tawi are among the beneficiaries of the livelihood assistance.
Last April 12, three bakery projects were already turned over to cooperative-beneficiaries in Basilan province, where they 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,” Mon-Em Abangad, information officer of the ARMM’s Department of Science and Technology, said.
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 town.
“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.
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.
The agency also turned over a vermi-composting project in Barangay Daguan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur to Malinday Daguan Farmers Producers Cooperative recently.
Another vermi-composting project will be turned-over to Radapan Poblacion Fertilizer Livelihood Farmers Producers Cooperative in Radapan Poblacion, Pagiapo, Lanao del Sur.
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.
The regional government has identified 200 barangays as priority project recipients under the HELPS program in 2015-2016. A total of P10 million has been earmarked for various projects for each of the targeted barangays.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL