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BARMM, UNDP partner to empower former combatants through coconut production support


COTABATO CITY – In a move to empower communities of former combatants, the Office of the Chief Minister’s Peace, Security, and Reconciliation Office (OCM-PSRO) partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAB) to deliver 32 sets of coconut production materials to graduates of the School of Peace and Democracy Bangsamoro (SPDB) on January 23.
 
Beneficiaries of the said initiative include Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BIAF-MILF) members from various parts of Moro and non-Moro communities, specifically Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bukidnon, Sarangani Province, Davao City, and Davao Oriental. These groups have successfully completed the coconut production program under the Social Enterprise Course.
 

“Su mga masla a bamikilen ba anan na di makaledsu amengka langun langun na kapya nin na makumpletu, uged na ledsu ka den ka matundug ka bun na kapiya nin ah,” PSRO Executive Director said, stressing the need to maximize the usage of available resources in achieving targets.
 
[We cannot start a great endeavor if we wait to acquire all the resources we need; just start with what you have, and everything good will follow.]
 
The turned-over electric coconut grater and other materials are the inputs identified in the beneficiaries’ developed social action plan, reinforcing their existing livelihoods.
 

Expressing hope, beneficiary Fatima Musa stated, “Sobrang saya ko po. Maraming niyog sa amin at willing po kaming matutunan gamitin iyan at kung paano man natin ito palalaguin ay nasa kamay natin.”
 
[I am ecstatic. We grow a lot of coconut trees, and we are very willing to learn how to use them (materials). How we can make the most of it lies in our hands.]
 
“Mula nang maipatayo ang BARMM, limang taon na ngayon, wala kaming natanggap, ngayon lang. [.’.] Masaya ako kasi nasa puso pa rin kami ng BARMM. Asahan niyo na pag natanggap namin yan, aalagaan namin yan, kasi dangal yan ng SPDB,” Kasan Lipogay, Deputy Base Commander of 119 Base Command in Lanao del Sur, uttered with gratitude.
 

[Ever since the BARMM’s establishment, now on its 5th year, we have never received anything until now. […] I am so glad because we are still in the heart of BARMM. Rest assured that upon receiving that equipment, we will take care of it because that’s the pride of SPDB.]
 
More turnovers are expected for SPDB graduates who specialize in coffee production and water hyacinth handicraft production programs, all under the Social Enterprise Course.
 
The PSRO remains committed to exerting efforts to sustain peace and security among former combatants and promoting reconciliation amid conflicts. (Bai Omairah Yusop/BIO)

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