The DOST-ARMM HELPS Program conducted trainings and turn-over of 3 projects in 3 barangays in Basilan last April 5-12, 2016. The projects, all bakeries, and the beneficiary-cooperatives and barangays are as follows: Switch Yakal Bakery Project, Switch Yakal, Lantawan implemented by Switch Yakal Development Consumers Cooperative; Baja Bakery Project, Baja, Tipo-Tipo, implemented by Baja Kahapan Consumers Cooperative; and Pintasan Bakery Project, Pintasan, Mohammad Ajul implemented by Pusaka Sin Pintasan Agri-Business Consumers Cooperative.
The project beneficiaries/cooperative members were trained on bread, cake and pastry-making by resource persons from the Mindanao Autonomous College Foundation Incorporated (MACFI). They were also trained by DOST-ARMM technical staff on Basic Food Safety as mandated under Republic Act No. 10611 of the Food Safety Act of 2013, food safety hazards basic hand washing and Halal. The turn-over of projects were witnessed by local government officials, partner agencies and other stakeholders. HELPS is an acronym that stands for Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Security and Synergy. It is a priority project of the regional government under Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman, to provide basic intervention to the poor and depressed areas in the ARMM.
The DOST-ARMM is implementing the Livelihood Component of the Program and targets poor and geographically isolated and depressed areas or GIDA communities. For ARMM HELPS 2015, 9 are bakery projects located at Badja, Tipo-tipo, Pintasan, Hji. Mohammad Ajul, Switch Yakal, Lantawan all in Basilan; Poblacion, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; Puukan Laminusa, Siasi, San Raymundo, Jolo, Walled City, Jolo, Bilaan Pob., Talipao, and Baligtang, Pandami, all in Sulu; 2 Organic Fertilizer or Vermi-Composting:Organic Fertilizer Production projects located atBrgy. Radapan Pob., Piagapo and Brgy. Daguan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur; and 3 Mat Weaving Projects located at Balimbing, P.Sugala; Unas-Unas, S. Ubian and Tong Tampakan, S. Ubian, all in Tawi-Tawi with a total project cost of 12.6 million pesos. -IO