COTABATO CITY — The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MIPA), led by Minister Melanio Ulama, conducted on Jan. 20, a series of ceremonial awarding of financial assistance for indigenous people (IP) beneficiaries, as part of the celebration of the Bangsamoro region’s founding anniversary.
A total of 230 primary level indigenous students each received educational assistance worth Php4,370.00, while 50 IP farmers each received organic concoction and extracts and Php2,620.00 cash aid.
Meanwhile, the Takut-takut Al-Hadiyah Badjao Sam Fishermen Cooperative from Sulu province was the recipient of a Php400,000.00 financial assistance.
Furthermore, 25 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Barangay Itaw in South Upi, Maguindanao were granted their National Certificate Level II (NC II) for completing their skills training on carpentry. They were also provided an allowance worth Php6,560.00 and additional Php1,000.00 for their personal protective equipment.
“Syempre po unang-una (tutulungan ko) pamilya ko, tapos lalong-lalo na sa aking mga kasamahang katutubo ay pwede ko silang tulungan. Sa ibinigay sa aming mga gamit naman maraming salamat sa MIPA at malaking tulong at experience ito,” said Marcelo Singcoro, 39, a farmer from Timanan, South Upi, who was one of the NC II recipients.
According to MIPA’s Attorney IV Mona Diragen, the ministry was created to protect and promote the rights of the IPs. “Nandito rin ang MIPA para gabayan sila na at least makaangat sila sa kanilang pamumuhay,” she added.
MIPA, through its provincial project officers and coordinators, will continuously distribute similar cash assistance to other IP beneficiaries next week. (Myrna Tepadan/BIO)