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Part 1 of 3
COTABATO CITY (BIO) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government ensured adequate services in 2022 by providing more public infrastructure projects, decent housing units, fostering employment and investment opportunities, advancing high-quality education programs, cultivating peace and security conditions, and improving resiliency and preparedness.
During the previous year, the Government of the Day accomplished the following great feats despite the difficulties posed by natural disasters and global crises:
Ensured greater access to social services
To serve more families and individuals in need, the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM)
implemented various special programs such as providing cash support addressing and improving well-being focusing on health, and socio-economic development to provide the short and long-term needs of the Bangsamoro people.
Despite the challenges brought about by the global pandemic, the OCM’s program — the Tulong Alay sa Bangsamoro Nangangailangan or Project TABANG — has continuously addressed not just the health but also the socio-economic impact of the crisis on the lives of Bangsamoro people.
Project TABANG is a humanitarian program created to alleviate the situation of Bangsamoro communities. It has served communities and benefited hundreds of thousands of grassroots individuals and families.
Recently, more than 5,000 Basileños received the services of various BARMM ministries and other concerned stakeholders as part of the TABANG Convergence Program, aiming to bring the government closer to the people.
Another government initiative under the Ministry of Social and Security Development (MSSD) is the Bangsamoro Critical Assistance to Indigents in Response to Emergency Situations (B-CARES) program which has a total of 13 partner hospitals. It already served a total of 4,861 indigent patients from thesw hospitals across the Bangsamoro region.
At least 66,279 learners in 1,702 daycare or child development centers and 16,876 learners in 742 supervised neighborhood play (SNP) facilities are supported by the Ministry through the capacity building for workers, provision of learning kits and outdoor play equipment.
Meanwhile, the Government of the Day continues to support our Maranao brothers thru the Marawi Rehabilitation Program (MRP) for families affected by the 2019 siege. The MRP, along with the MSSD, provided food and non-food essentials, direct subsistence grants, cash assistance, and psychosocial support to improve their socio-economic status. This also includes the 1-unit of lake ambulance and 1-unit of lake cadaver transport for the residents to expand access and availability of medical equipment.
On the available data, around 3,844 Internally Displaced Person or IDP beneficiaries and still counting received cash aid worth Php15,000.00 each under the Bangsamoro Sagip Kabuhayan Program, while more thousands of beneficiaries received worth Php5,000.00 cash aid.
Enhancing quality education and increased scholarship programs
The Bangsamoro Government pours more money into the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) as it is committed to providing quality education and ensuring that “No Bangsamoro Children Are Left Behind.”
Despite the pandemic, the Education Ministry hired more competent teachers to ensure Bangsamoro learners are given closer attention by the teachers, built climate-resilient classrooms, and technical and vocational labs and workshops to accommodate students in time for physical classes.
Amid adjustments in the education system due to global health crises, MBHTE exceeded its target number of enrollees for School Year (S.Y.) 2022-2023 as face-to-face classes in the Bangsamoro region resumed. The education ministry initially targeted to achieve about one million enrollees in the entire BARMM for the current academic year.
As of writing, the MBHTE recorded a total of 1,038,662 enrollees for both public and private schools under the basic and higher education sectors.
Moreover, MBHTE implemented a series of scholarship programs such as the Access to Higher and Modern Education Scholarship Program (AHME-SP) which provides Php60,000.00 in assistance to student beneficiaries/scholars per academic year.
A total of 1,400 qualified students were able to benefit from this scholarship program for FYS 2020-2021 while another 1,400 scholarships have been produced in 2022 to ensure at least one professional per family in Bangsamoro.
To make quality education accessible, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)provided financial assistance thru its Bangsamoro Assistance for Science Education (BASE) to qualified grantees aiming for the best learning journey for the Bangsamoro learners.
Apart from that, the Education Ministry also expanded its financial subsidies for
Registered public and private Madaris (Islamic schools) to Standard Madrasah Curriculum (SMC) addressing the needs of Islamic teachers, faculties as well as learners.
Eleven Schools Divisions all over the region continued to receive Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) materials and equipment which include digital duplicators, desktop computers, teachers’ kits, learners’ materials, and others.
The ministry also hired qualified Asatidz or Islamic Studies and Arabic Language (ISAL) teachers who were deployed in various public schools. This is to ensure the integration into the education curriculum of the teaching of Islamic and Arabic studies for Muslim pupils and students.
MBHTE also launched the Bangsamoro Education Reform and Development Plan (BERDP) 2035 which serves as the leading document in formulating education plans and policies in the Bangsamoro region until 2035.
The science and technology ministry granted cash to 798 science scholars across the region as of December 2022.
From 2020 to 2022, there were 514 students benefitting from the BASE Program and 100 students for the BASE-Merit Program which commenced this year. A total of 184 students were also benefitting from the Mujahideen Assistance for Science Education (MASE).
Strengthened employment programs for the youth
In BARMM, a large number of the unemployed groups belong to the youth sector. Hence, the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) implemented a series of programs and regularly conducted a simultaneous distribution of financial assistance for thousands of beneficiaries under the Bangsamoro Child Labor Sagip Program (BCLSP), Government Internship Program (GIP), and the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) as well as the repatriated overseas Bangsamoro workers.
The Bangsamoro Government through its Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) has conducted and implemented several activities, programs, and projects to intensify the essence of youth as one of the priority flagships in the region.
In 2022, a total of 80 Bangsamoro Youth Parliament (BYP) members gathered from different areas of the BARMM region representing different sectors. BYP is a capacity-building mechanism that brings together youth representatives from all provinces and sectors across the region to discuss current and emerging issues affecting the youth sector.
Aside from the aforementioned initiatives, young combatants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) benefited from the Positive Peace Project (PPP) to assist transitioning youth combatants to become productive versions of themselves and potentially provide alternative lenses of development.
These youth combatants received viable socio-economic opportunities such as training on leadership, technical–vocational skills, and entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, the Bangsamoro leadership also recognizes the importance of providing relevant Technical-Vocational and Education Training (TVET). The MBHTE, through its Technical Education and Skills Training (MBHTE-TESD), provided free relevant technical vocational training with a support fund allowance.
Among the grantees are out-of-school youth, students, and former MNLF and MILF children who graduated in the fields of tourism, agriculture, and fishery, electrical and electronics, construction, and social community development, among others. — Johaira Sahidala/Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO)
To be continued. (✓)