Army, Maguindanao LGU cooperate on job placement for Moro workers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 February 2014 13:10

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division on Tuesday opened the gates of Camp Siongco to children of Moro rebels and dependents of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who may qualify for foreign employment under a placement program intended for 25,000 applicants.

The employment thrust, dubbed “Light for Work” project,” is a joint undertaking of the office of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, the 6th ID, and the provincial league of mayors, in support of the socio-economic component of the Mindanao peace process.

Mangudadatu and the commander of 6th ID, Major Gen. Romeo Gapuz, launched the project on Tuesday at Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in the first district of the province.

Officials of 6th ID, which has jurisdiction over Maguindanao and surrounding towns in North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat provinces, will help, along with government-accredited recruitment agencies, and the Department of Labor and Employment, in facilitating the employment in the Middle East of qualified applicants from local communities.

Mangudadatu said local executives in the 36 Maguindanao towns shall also assist in the documentation of applicants from barangays under their respective offices.

“This is one way of addressing human trafficking and illegal recruitment activities of syndicates preying on hapless residents in the province,” Mangudadatu said.

Maguindanao accounts for most number of documented human trafficking cases in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, with unsuspecting victims coming mostly from areas made poor by armed conflicts.

Gapuz said applicants can come to Camp Siongco during work days and ask for assistance from a placement center inside the camp.

Gapuz and Mangudadatu both said their target of facilitating the employment of 25,000 qualified workers to the Middle East is not just for residents of Maguindanao, but also for interested applicants from surrounding provinces.

Mangudadatu said children and dependents of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the BIFF, are free to avail of the massive job placement process, the first ever in the 40-year political history of the province.

Mayor Ramon Piang of North Upi town in the first district of Maguindanao, a former member of the government panel negotiating with the MILF, said their LGU will fund the processing of all documents and clearances needed by applicants from their municipality.

“This Light for Work project is a very good project. It will help hasten the attainment of peace in Maguindanao by providing employment to local residents,” said Piang an ethnic Teduray chieftain, who, as government negotiator, helped craft the power-sharing annex to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro.

Mangudadatu said the implementation of the project will be coordinated closely with the office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles.

“This is being implemented in support of the socio-economic component of the government-MILF peace initiative, which aims to alleviate from poverty all impoverished and underdeveloped Moro communities,” Mangudadatu said.

Gapuz and Mangudadatu also jointly launched on Tuesday the provincial government’s street lighting project inside Camp Siongco using solar-powered facilities.