October 10, 2023. For the program that supports the current initiative on camps transformation and development, there are 24 cooperatives established. 11 have received livelihood assistance, while the remaining 13 is yet to obtain the aid in the following months.
For the project that contributes to the Bangsamoro Transition, there are 18 people’s organizations (POs) formed and have been making success with their respective local enterprises.
Two fisher folk’s cooperatives in the islands of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi will also be tapped to get support on aquaculture for increased productivity.
The recent project relevant to Normalization in the Bangsamoro will also benefit cooperatives through income stabilization sub-project.
For the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) that implements these programs/ projects stated above, the crucial role of cooperatives and community organizing is indeed relevant to help address pressing issues and concerns on the overall welfare of the society like economic, health, peace and order, among others.
In the Bangsamoro Region, for instance, development and humanitarian efforts have always been carried with community organizing that includes PO formation and activation of cooperatives/ association backed up with various capacity building activities to strengthen these groups.
Women groups in Tawi-Tawi state that when they were organized as PO, their bond as women becomes more meaningful and productive. They learned to produce and sell native delicacies that gives them additional income for their families.
In Maguindanao, a group of women has also become united and even happier that by producing various products from coconut, they are able to help preserve this traditional method that only the elderlies know.
For the indigenous people groups, organizing and including them in the program/ project is a chance to be part of the development.
“We walked and descend from mountain for hours, just to attend activities like this, today. I am hoping for something good in joining this organization. It is a chance for us (the IPs) to be included in development”, an IP member told.
In Lanao province, women groups are happy having learned the processing of different flavors for palapa (a spicy side-dish known from M’ranao in this province). They earn income from selling this product that they spend for their kids at school.
From a village in the Special Geographical Areas (SGA) of BARMM, the women group producing various banana products shares that they are able to help other sectors in the community like the youth to earn additional income helpful for their schooling. Also, that they reported of being able to promote their products during local gatherings, which make them happy and proud having made these with their own skills and resources.
With these progress and milestones, BDA Inc. continues to work and reach out with other partners like the Bangsamoro Government to strengthen the support to these community groups.
The agency has recently had a writeshop on manual development for social enterprise in the Bangsamoro communities together with the Cooperative and Social Enterprise Development Authority (CSEA-BARMM), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR-BARMM) and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST-BARMM).
Partners from the civil society organizations (CSOs) were also part of the activity conducted on October 2-4, 2023 in General Santos City.
Prior to this, BDA Inc. has been coordinating with CSEA for the on-going support to the cooperatives and POs formed through its various programs/ projects. There was an orientation on the processes and policies of CSEA regarding the registration and accreditation requirements last September 19, 2023 in Cotabato City.