By Lou Ellen L. Antonio

MARAWI CITY, March 28 (PIA ICCC) –  Hundreds of residents here flocked to the Marawi City Hall grounds today to submit applications for any job opportunities and/or avail themselves of skills training through the 7th Kawiyagan (Livelihood).

The Department of Labor and Employment- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOLE-BARMM) opened 500 slots for its Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), which aims to provide temporary employment to displaced youth or students aged 17 to 25 years old to augment their family’s income, and to ensure that they are able to continue their studies.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) conducted skills assessment interview for skilled workers – masonry, welder, carpenters – for the calibration of skills and competency schedule of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

A total of 450 skilled workers are targeted to be hired for the construction of 1,500 permanent houses funded by Japanese Government.

TESDA has commenced its enrolment for skills training on cookery, bread & pastry, dressmaking, computer system servicing, electrical installation & maintenance, shielded metal arc welding, carpentry, and masonry.

Other member-agencies of the Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood of the Task Force Bangon Marawi also distributed livelihood support to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returned residents of Marawi.

Skilled workers fill up forms for their application to the United Nations skills assessment interview for masonry, welders and carpenters of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). (Photo by Lou Ellen Antonio/ PIA ICCC)

Marawi farm cooperatives – Al-Sahara Cooperative, Pila Producer Cooperative and Kalangkapan Producer Cooperative – have displayed their produce during the Kawiyagan. They were beneficiaries of the Food Security Convergence of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries- BARMM (DAF-BARMM), Department of Agrarian Reform- BARMM, Food and Agriculture Organization  and World Food Programme.

Bara Lao of Kalangkapan Producer Cooperative expressed his gratitude for all the agricultural support he received. With the help of the DAF-BARMM, Lao underwent training on fermented plant juice processing as well as livestock and poultry raising.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa mga ipinamigay ninyo sa amin dahil nakasuporta ito sa amin (We are grateful for all the interventions, which supported us in our daily lives),” Lao said.

Moreover, the beneficiaries of Community and Family Services International and Catholic Relief Services also showcased their products such as baskets, street foods, malongs, and other Maranao traditional products.

Halida Shiek Basmala, a beneficiary of the Catholic Relief Services sell her loomweaving products during the 7th Kawiyagan held in Marawi City Hall grounds. (Photo by James Umaran/ PIA ICCC) 

“Gusto ko magpasalamat sa CRS dahil doon ako nakakuha ng puhunan sa paninda ko (I want to thank CRS because I was able to have a capital to put up my small business),” said Halida Shiek Basmala.

Launched on August 24, 2018, Kawiyagan is a series of monthly distribution of livelihood assistance to the IDPs pursued by the members of TFBM’s Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood, humanitarian organizations and local government of Marawi City to ensure that the affected residents receive livelihood support and assistance to recover from the siege. (ICCC)