COTABATO CITY — Minister Raissa Jajurie of the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) clarified that the Angat Bangsamoro Tungo sa Karunungan (ABaKa) Program of the ministry is strictly based on a scoring system.
ABaKa Program, which started in 2020, provides a one-time financial assistance to poor students in the region to cover school-related expenses such as school supplies, books, projects, internet/data load, and other related expenses.
“Kailangan natin mag-prioritize. May tinatawag tayong point system kung saan mapa-prioritize ‘yung mga pinaka-nangangailangan—batay yan sa estado nila sa buhay, economically. So mas mahirap (ang estado) mas mataas ang points,” Jajurie said in an interview on Thursday, Aug. 25.
Applicants will be given priority if they are indigents, most vulnerable, and belonging to a low-income family; working students; enrolled in public schools, tech-voc schools, state universities, and colleges; enrolled in private schools but are under a scholarship program; affected by armed conflict or calamities; and a family member of a breadwinner who was deported or has returned to BARMM or the country.[To view MSSD’s complete guidelines and scoring system, please click: https://bit.lyMSSDABK ]
Qualified beneficiaries at the kindergarten and elementary level will receive Php2,000 each, Php3,000 for junior and senior high school students, Php10,000 for vocational-technology courses, and Php10,000 for college students.
For 2022, MSSD has targeted a total of 20,000 beneficiaries. “In other provinces ay natapos na ating pagba-validate at pagpapa-qualify ng mga benepisyaryo, except sa Cotabato City at Maguindanao,” Jajurie said.
The minister also clarified that the ongoing educational assistance being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) does not cover the MSSD as the ministry is a separate government agency under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. With this, MSSD implements its own educational assistance program, that is the ABaKa.
“Bago pa po inilabas itong educational assistance program ng DSWD sa panahong ito ay iniimplement na ng MSSD itong (ABaKa) simula po noong 2020,” Jajurie stressed.
A total of 31,000 students across the region benefited from the program in 2020, while there were 20,000 beneficiaries in 2021. (Myrna Tepadan/BIO)