METRO MANILA, April 24 — Regenerating Marawi City’s business industry after the devastation brought about by the war, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has persistently been keen in providing more assistance to affected Maranao entrepreneurs.

As the lead agency, the Department spearheads the Task Force Bangon Marawi SubCommittee on Business and Livelihood (TFBM-SCBL) to create initiatives to allow the effective rehabilitation of Marawi City and alleviate the lives of the affected families, not only in the said City but also in nearby municipalities.

“As part of the Duterte administration’s Tapang at Malasakit thrust for nation building, DTI has been consistent in assisting the internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the Marawi siege. By providing market access, microloans, and livelihood starter kits, we are helping IDPs to get back on their feet and restore Marawi as a bustling center of trade in the province,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

From October 2017 to April 2019, DTI has set aside a total of P68.89 million fund for the provision of more livelihoods to 8,802 Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs). The Department distributed livelihood starter kits such as 3,189 sets of sewing starter kits and 500 sets of bigasan kits, 1,827 sari-sari starter kit sets out of the 4070 kits transported to Iligan City of which 1,837 were distributed to IDPs and 5,930 kits are still for delivery. While another 3,000 sets of baking kits, 1,000 school supplies and 3,000 sets of carinderia starter kits are set for distribution in May.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Advocate Undersecretary Zenaida Cuison-Maglaya said that these beneficiaries have also been provided livelihood trainings and seminars, market accessibility and micro-funding assistance.

“We are continuously delivering livelihood supports for our Kababayans in Marawi City through our various initiatives like Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), business mentorship and equipment donations for their entrepreneurial needs, to surely regain and uplift their lives once more,” Maglaya said.

To promote and market the Maranao crafts, the Department has provided P10 million fund for retail spaces in major malls and other selling platforms such as City Mall in Iponan, Cagayan de Oro City, 68th Manila FAME at the World Trade Center, Sikat Pinoy National Crafts and Arts fair at the SM Megamall, Enchanted Kingdom in Santa Rosa, Laguna and One Town One Product (OTOP) Philippine Hubs at the Kapandesal Café at the Malacañang Complex and Bulacan Provincial Capitol. ‘Malasakit’ to rebuild Marawi.

Another P10 million fund was utilized for 20 sets of assorted power tools and distributed to 20 groups or cooperatives composed of Marawi IDPs and other municipalities of Lanao del Sur.

Through the Shared Service Facility (SSF) Program, P50 million fund was allotted for Maranao entrepreneurs by providing equipment that suits to their needs particularly in the aspect of loom weaving, woodworking, brassware and food processing and packaging.

Lastly, the Small Business Corporation released a total of P6.42 million micro loans in the form of P3 to 436 MSME beneficiaries.

The member agencies of the Task Force Bangon Marawi are Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and other international and local national organizations (INGOs/NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs). (DTI)