Cotabato City (October 7, 2016) – Nine cooperatives in the province of Maguindanao received P170,000 each as seed money to start business ventures such as bakeshop and water refilling station under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) livelihood assistance programs.
The seed money was released to the cooperatives after memoranda of agreement (MOA) were signed here on Thursday, October 7, by officials of the region’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ARMM); Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Synergy (ARMM-HELPS) program; and the recipient cooperatives. The projects are funded by ARMM-HELPS.
Program manager Anwar Upahm said ARMM-HELPS serves as the banner initiative of the present leadership for more coordinated and focused interventions at the local level. “It targets to achieve integrated delivery of services at the barangay level,” Upahm said.
Myra Mangkabung, DOST-ARMM secretary, said the seed money covers P100,000 as capital fund and the remaining P70,000 will be used to renovate and improve livelihood sites.
Members of cooperatives, Sec. Mangkabung said, will undergo training on their chosen livelihood and on financial transactions such as utilization of fund, income, and expenses, among others.
Evangelista Julio, 50, chairperson of Rempes GAD Recipient Producers Cooperative, said the seed money and the training provided by the program will equip them to achieve successful and sustainable operation of their business.
“Kung dati simpleng tinapay lang ang kaya namin ma-produce, ngayon alam na namin na pagkatapos ng training, makagagawa na rin kami ng mas maraming uri ng tinapay,” Julio said. “Matututo pa kami paano humawak ng pera at magpatakbo ng negosyo,” he added.
The cooperative is based in Barangay Rempes in the town of North Upi and the only existing cooperative in the barangay. Rempes GAD Recipient Producers Cooperative started this year, with 52 members.
The DOST-ARMM will procure the facilities and equipment needed for the projects. After roughly less than three months, the cooperatives are expected to be fully equipped and their business fully operational.
The other eight cooperatives that received assistance are as follows:
• United Bangsamoro Women’s Pamana Livelihood Marketing Cooperative in Datu Paglas;
• Sarmiento Women Advocate Business Enterprise Cooperative in Parang;
• Muhya Water Refilling Consumers’ Cooperative in Sultan Mastura;
• Marang Barira Consumers’ Cooperative in Barira;
• Nuyo Water Spring Service Cooperative in Buldon;
• Kabingi Upland Farmers’ Marketing Cooperative in Datu Saudi Ampatuan;
• Malatimon Women Consumers’ Cooperative in Ampatuan; and
• Mother Poblacion Water Refilling Station in Shariff Aguak.
Sec. Mangkabung said livelihood projects will serve as a way to combat poverty and boost economic status of members of target cooperatives in the region.
The signatories in the MOA were Sec. Mangkabung; Johnny Evangelista, officer-in-charge chief of DOST-ARMM technical services division; Butocan Langalen, ARMM-HELPS focal person for Maguindanao; and the chairmen of each cooperative