Cotabato City – The Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM) distributed roughly P2 million worth of projects and services to more than 400 beneficiaries during the People’s Day celebration.
The celebration coincides with the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte at the ARMM Compound in Cotabato City, on Saturday, October 29.
Regional Vice Governor and concurrent DSWD-ARMM Regional Secretary Haroun Alrashid Lucman headed the agency’s program convergence turnover at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex Grounds.
This year, DSWD-ARMM applied a convergence approach for all its anti-poverty programs to strengthen the strategy of alleviating poverty in the five component provinces of the region.
The turnover gathered a total of 470 beneficiaries from the agency’s various flagship programs, including Cash-For-Work for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Social Pension, Supplementary Feeding Program, and the Expanded Student Grants Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
DSWD also implements poverty-reduction and peace-promoting programs such as the PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA), Humanitarian and Development Assistance Program and the Bangsamoro Regional Inclusive Development for Growth and Empowerment (BRIDGE).
ESGP-PA, a scholarship grant program for deserving 4Ps beneficiaries, was one the major highlights of the day’s turnover caravan as 40 scholars from the Mindanao State University (MSU) – Maguindanao; and 16 scholars from the Adiong Memorial Polytechnic College (AMPC), received three-month stipend worth P12,000, and one month stipend with book allowance worth P6,000 respectively.
Alexes Saldy, 20 years old and one of the scholars from MSU-Maguindanao said being a recipient of the ESGP-PA made life easier for him. “Nung dumating ang scholarship two years ago, doon lang ako nagkaroon ng assurance, yung guarantee na makakapagtapos na talaga ako,” he shared. Saldy, studying Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in General Science, is looking forward to graduating in 2017 with latin honors.
Junaisa Bayabao, 19, a college sophomore at AMPC, shared that being a part of the ESGP-PA was life-changing for her and her family, which has been living below the poverty threshold. “Napakalaking tulong nung grant sa amin… dati bulakbol ako, since na-approve yung scholarship, I have to aim for high grades kaya binago ko ang sarili ko,” she said.
By the end of school year 2016-2017, ARMM, through DSWD and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), would have sent a total of 3,474 ESGP scholars across the region.
DSWD-ARMM also conducted its regular relief distribution to 440 Pantawid beneficiaries and indigenous peoples (IPs) from the municipality of Upi, Maguindanao who were severely affected by the recent drought.
A total of 410 regular Pantawid beneficiaries received food packs worth P360 each, while 30 IP beneficiaries received food packs and hygiene kits worth P1,940 each.
Lailyn Delio Dagloc, 30 years old with three children, was one of those who were affected by the drought and rat infestation in Mirab, Upi.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DSWD dahil sila ang naging daan para matulungan po ang mga katulad naming mahihirap… napag-aral namen ang aking anak, at kada buwan napapacheck po namen,” she said.
DSWD-ARMM also released 65 indigent senior citizens’ three-month stipend amounting to P1,546 each for a total payout of P100,500.
Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, as provided for under Republic Act 9994 (Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010), is an additional government assistance that provides P500 pesos per month to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens aged 65 years old and above.
The agency also mainstreamed its 120-day Supplementary Feeding Program by providing food in the form of hot meals to more than 100 children enrolled in day care centers.
DSWD’s special programs PAMANA and BRIDGE also mainstreamed their programs through ceremonial turnovers that released project items to beneficiaries.
PAMANA Expansion Cycle 2 turned over projects worth P300,000 each to community livelihood cooperatives of barangay Kabuling and Kayupo in the municipality of Pandag in Maguindanao. Equipment distributed are mobile rice mill, corn sheller, and power tiller.
PAMANA is the government’s peace and development program to respond and strengthen peace-building, reconstruction, and development in conflict affected and conflict vulnerable areas.
Finally, DSWD through ARMM BRIDGE also handed out food provisions to 40 families from Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao.
Maisara Abdullah, 38, with four children, said that this is the fifth time she received a similar provision from BRIDGE this year. She said her burden on serving food on her family’s table was significantly lessened since she became a part of the program.
As a BRIDGE beneficiary, Maisara is among the 600 poorest of the poor families in ARMM entitled to the Apat-na-Dapat provisions of the program. All BRIDGE beneficiaries will receive:
Low-cost housing with water sanitation and electricity;
Livelihood intervention; and
Food security. (Bureau of Public Information)