COTABATO CITY — More than 1,000 youth across the Bangsamoro region who sustained adverse effects of the pandemic are set to receive micro-enterprise seed fund worth 15,000 pesos from the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC), regional government officials said.
MSSD Minister Atty. Raisa Jajurie said the assistance was aimed at mitigating the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) to vulnerable youth who were economically affected by the pandemic.
“We [MSSD] are tasked to provide interventions to vulnerable sectors of society and to those who are poor, with overall objective of uplifting their lives,” Atty. Jajurie stressed.
Atty. Jajurie added the programs were conceptualized in response to the pandemic, where people were left unemployed and companies needed to close. The money will be utilized as funds to start beneficiaries’ small business ventures or other alternative income-generating opportunities.
BYC Chairperson Marjanie Macasalong, PhD, said 10 youth beneficiaries from Cotabato City received cash grants in a ceremonial distribution on Monday, January 18, as part of the celebration of Bangsamoro Government’s second founding anniversary.
Chairperson Macasalong noted the BYC will implement programs and projects aimed at developing and helping the youth in the region and will continue its coordinations and partnerships with other ministries and agencies of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to help reach more youth constituents.
This week, BYC’s humanitarian assistance dubbed ‘Lingkod Kabataang Bangsamoro’ will roll out for its second wave. In 2020, it served about 200 youth organizations from the region’s five provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi.
Among the seed fund recipients were Erod Tan, 23, from Mother Bagua in Cotabato City. He formerly worked as a mechanic in a small shop in their village. Due to the pandemic, the shop was closed, and he was rendered jobless.
Since then, Tan does small mechanic works to make ends meet for his family of two children. Most of the time, he has no source of living. With the assistance from the Bangsamoro Government, Tan hopes that better days are coming.
“Magpapatayo po ako ng maliit na shop, bibili ako ng mga tools na kailangan ko. Kahit papaano, tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho ko,” Tan added.
Nasserudin Dunding, BYC commissioner representing Maguindanao, Cotabato City and 63 barangays in North Cotabato, said the MSSD and BYC will do a monthly monitoring of the business ventures of the recipients and assist in any possible ways to grow their ventures. (Bangsamoro Information Office)