COTABATO CITY—A total of 333 beneficiaries of the Bangsamoro Government’s PAG-ASA (Pag-akay at Suporta) Program have received their financial assistance on Thursday, May 26.
PAG-ASA Program is a subcomponent of the Office of the Chief Minister’s (OCM) Project TABANG (Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan), which provides a one-time cash aid worth P15,000.00 to indigent residents.
According to Livelihood Program Head Mohamad Asnur Pendatun, the program has targeted 5,000 beneficiaries across the region. It aims to alleviate the drastic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic to residents who are at risk of not earning a regular income, like Madaris teachers and senior citizens.
“Pangalawang batch na po ito at sinisikap natin maka pay-out every month hangang sa maabot natin yung target. Ito po yung tulong na at least magamit po nila as seed capital sa alternative source of income,” Pendatun said.
Thursday’s beneficiaries were from several municipalities in Maguindanao.
One of the beneficiaries was 52-year-old Daud Mohamad, a Madaris teacher from Barangay Manungkaling in Mamasapano Municipality. He said he said been teaching for free since 1988.
Speaking in vernacular, Mohamad was emotional as he shared that the cash assistance will be of great help to their family.
“I belong to the poorest of the poor. I will use half of the amount to support my children, and the other half as a seed capital for our livelihood,” Mohamad said.
“We thank Allah for this blessing and the Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim for this help,” he added.
Meanwhile, TABANG Project Manager Dr. Tumanda Antok said that the pay-out program was a manifestation of their commitment to the Bangsamoro people. “Today’s event is a fulfillment of our promise to help our people,” he said. (Abdullah Matucan, Myrna Tepadan/BIO)