Photo by Michael Camsa
COTABATO CITY— Some 100 cooperatives from across the region were granted by the Bangsamoro Government with financial assistance amounting to Php150,000.00 through its Cooperative and Social Enterprise Authority’s (CSEA) Special Assistance for Viable Enterprise or SAVE grant program.
Seventy-four (74) of the coops are from the mainland provinces of Maguindanao Del Sur, Maguindanao Del Norte, and Lanao Del Sur, as well as cities of Cotabato and Marawi, while 26 are from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
On Thursday, Dec. 29, first set of 56 coops from the mainland areas received their cheques, while the remaining beneficiaries are scheduled to receive their assistance on January 2023.
CSEA Chief Administrative Division Abdullah Dipatuan mentioned that the beneficiaries were identified after a thorough selection and screening process set under the grant’s guidelines.
“The selected cooperatives underwent a strict process of application including the submission of their respective project proposal, verification of their residencies from conflict-affected areas. They were severely affected by the pandemic, and heeding sustainable intervention,” Dipatuan said.
Meanwhile, CSEA Executive Director Samcia Ibrahim emphasized the importance of the cooperatives’ compliance to ensure that the beneficiaries were really functional and operational.
“This financial assistance will serve as a start-up capital of your cooperatives in the implementation of your submitted feasible and viable business proposal to increase your earnings and eventually, your coop will boost its functionality and could even lead to enhance the living conditions of your members,” Ibrahim said.
“Since this is a grant, you will expect that we will closely monitor the implementation of this program,” she added.
Chairman Ismael Zaman of Kalalagan Marketing Cooperative from Lanao del Sur expressed, “We are very thankful to the CSEA and to the BARMM as a whole in providing us this financial assistance and we decided to put up a sari-sari Store to sell rice, fertilizers and other farm commodities to cater to the necessities of our own coop members and farmers in our area.”
Meanwhile, Engr. Mlang Madal, Chairman of Duca Farmers and Fisherfolks Marketing Cooperative in Cotabato City said, “This amount we received is really a big help for us in the cooperative sector especially for us that we have an existing poultry raising, we could add this amount as another capital in expanding it.”
CSEA Social Enterprise Division Chief Lininding Pangandaman, stressed, “We are hoping that this grant will serve as the vehicle in the progress of your respective coops and means of alleviating your own living conditions from your family and to your community in general.” (Kasan Usop, Jr./BIO)