A total of 691 small-scale entrepreneurs in impoverished barangays each received a P15,000 livelihood assistance from the Bangsamoro social welfare ministry in payouts it facilitated last week.
Jidday Lucman, a senior information staff of the Ministry of Social Services and Development-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, told reporters via Viber Monday, October 23, that the release of the grants to beneficiaries in underdeveloped villages in Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur was part of their Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) aiming to empower “barangay-level traders and entrepreneurs” in both provinces.
Mayor Rona Flores of Upi municipality in Maguindanao del Norte, where 193 residents received fund support from between October 16 to 19, said her office is ready to embark on interventions needed to boost the small-scale businesses of her constituents in support of the SLP.
Most of the 198 Upi residents who each received P15,000 SLP assistance are ethnic Teduray women whose husbands rely mainly on propagation of short-term crops and hybrid corn as main sources of income and works occasionally as laborers in farms of big landowners.
Mishaelle Musahari, who is MSSD-BARMM’s social marketing officer for SLP, said they will resume releasing cash grants after the October 30 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“For this year, we’re targeting to provide with `seed funds’ 1,524 recipients in the two Maguindanao provinces and 274 others in Cotabato City,” Mushari said.
Cotabato City, which is inside Maguindanao del Norte, is the administrative and political seat of BARMM that also covers the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi.
Many of the 691 SLP beneficiaries who received P15,000 each last week own small stores in remote barangays while some are into rice and corn grains merchandising businesses.
A number of them are also engaged in backyard livestock and poultry raising, according to personnel of the DSWD-BARMM in Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur.
Musahari said besides the 193 beneficiaries in Upi, they had also provided with SLP funds 180 grantees in the neighboring Sultan Kudarat and Cotabato City in Maguindanao del Norte, and 318 more in South Upi, Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Pagalungan, all in Maguindanao del Sur. (October 23, 2023, John Unson)