Makati-based NGO, ARMM ink Basilan youth development deal PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 11:00

The Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) donated P100,000 for a youth program in 10 barangays in Basilan province via a project the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will support with a P5 million counterpart.

AFI’s president, Ruel Maranan, and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman on Friday signed in Isabela City in Basilan a memorandum of agreement detailing cooperation in implementing the project, to benefit hundreds of Muslim and Christian adolescents in the ten barangays.

The office of the Technical Skills and Development Authority in the autonomous region (TESDA-ARMM), which is operating under Hataman’s ministerial control, will provide the needed interventions to beneficiary-youth groups to encourage involvement in countryside peace and economic activities.

The program is aimed at empowering Basilan’s youth sector by training students and out-of-school beneficiaries on formulation and management of community-driven projects, particularly those that can hasten the Mindanao peace process.

The youth development program agreement Maranan and Hataman launched in Isabela City, former capital of Basilan, last Friday is also supported by the Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines, where the ARMM governor is a member.

Hataman trained on governance and public administration for culturally-pluralistic communities at the United States of America last year under an Eisenhower study program.

The Eisenhower Fellowships program was established in 1953 by a group of Americans in honor of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, in recognition of his good works as a soldier and eventually as president and world leader.

The organization provides free out-of-country learning modules for young leaders from around the globe to promote good governance and propagate interfaith and racial solidarity for world peace.

Under Friday’s AFI-ARMM agreement, the Makati-based non-government organization committed P10,000 for each of the youth organizations in the ten recipient Basilan barangays.

The program will also involve an umbrella bloc of local youth groups, the influential Basilan Young Leaders Program, which has sub-groups in Lamitan City and the 11 towns in the island province.

Maranan, in a message, said it was Hataman who enticed them to help provide Basilan’s youth communities with a development package needed to ensure their productivity as an important sector in the island province.

He said they agreed to come in and help, convinced of the Hataman administration’s dedication in promoting peace and sustainable development in the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The ARMM is presently implementing, through two key officials, Regional Public Works Secretary Don Mustapha Loong and Engineer Soler Undug of the Basilan District Engineering Office, some P3 billion worth of infrastructure projects in the province.

“I don’t have problem with the way Engineers Loong and Undug are handling these projects along with local government units in Basilan. These projects are being implemented in utmost transparency, open to scrutiny by the media and interested parties anytime,” Hataman said.

Hataman said ARMM’s local government department will help in the Basilan youth development program through its provincial office in Basilan.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by local officials, among them Mayor Rose Furigay of Lamitan City, whose office has current socio-economic projects for local youth groups.