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MILF-BIAF: Transitions from Bullets to Business

COTABATO CITY – Thirty-two (32) alumni from the School of Peace and Democracy Bangsamoro, former MILF combatants in transition, expressed their joy and gratitude as they received Coconut Production Equipment and Materials to kickstart their Social Enterprise in Coconut Production, focusing on Virgin Coconut Oil, Cooking Oil, and Vinegar. The equipment and materials were generously provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of the Climate, Peace, and Security Project through the Food Security on Social Enterprise Course Completion Package. The turnover ceremony took place at the Peace, Security, and Reconciliation Office (PSRO) on January 23, 2024.

Mr. Anwar S. Alamada, the Executive Director of PSRO, delivered the opening message during the turnover ceremony. He emphasized that the provision of coconut production materials is based on the needs assessment conducted during Phase 3 of the SPD-B Course. While acknowledging the modest size of the machinery, he highlighted its significant benefits for the recipients’ families and communities, particularly during the upcoming Ramadan season.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Hisham S. Nando, MA, the Executive Director of the Development Academy of the Bangsamoro, genuinely encouraged the beneficiaries to invest in the coconut production business and exert extra effort for the improvement of their lives and the development of Bangsamoro communities. Adding his support, Mr. Butch Malang, the Chairman of CCCH and administrator of SGADA, echoed the sentiments of both Executive Directors. He emphasized that although the program may start on a small scale, every impactful initiative begins with humble beginnings.

Further, Miss Judith De Guzman, the Project Manager of the Peace Stabilization Team at UNDP Philippines, expressed gratitude for the active and enduring collaboration between UNDP, DAB, and PSRO in the successful implementation of the SPD-B Program.

In a similar vein, Miss Noraida Datumanong, Chief of the DAB Center of Education and Extension, conveyed a crucial message before the handover of the Coconut Grater Machines and materials. She emphasized that these equipment and production materials are not solely for individual recipients but are intended for the collective efforts of the teams they represent. It signifies a comprehensive package related to the SPDB-Development top-up course they have completed, marking the beginning of their transition from bullets to business.

In addition, Mr. Casan Lipugay, a participant from Lanao Province, conveyed sincere appreciation to PSRO, DAB, and UNDP, extending gratitude towards the BARMM Government. In his expression of thanks, he sought additional technical assistance from DAB and support from both PSRO and UNDP.

Correspondingly, Sheikh Abdulwahab Kawilan, a PSRO Consultant was also grateful for the blessings received by his fellows. In his message, he cited a certain hadith that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said to ‘A-ishah, “O ‘A-ishah take care of the blessings, for once it is lost, it will never come back”- a great reminder for all.

Finally, the turnover ceremony concluded successfully with the closing statement from Mr. Noel Pedrola, the UNDP Peace and Stabilization Team Program Analyst. He encouraged participants to utilize the insights shared by the executive directors of partner agencies, share their achievements, and maintain consistent communication with partners. Mr. Pedrola expressed anticipation for how the community could uphold the legacy of the SPD-B program towards further development.

DAB, as the human capital development training and research arm of the Bangsamoro Government for government officials and employees, is a CSC recognized Government Learning and Development Institution under the Office of the Chief Minister Hon. Ahod B. Ebrahim. DAB is currently under the leadership of Executive Director Sh. Hisham S. Nando, M.A.
#biDABest #ProductiveBangsamoro #MoralGovernance


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