the region

USAID O2 presents OSY potentials to industries

January 4, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Dec. 31 (PIA)--To acquaint industries with the potentials of out-of-school youth, a hub-wide forum gathered USAID Opportunity 2.0’s (USAID O2) partners from the private establishments based in Mindanao. The event tagged as “Upskilled and Ready: An Agile Workforce for the Economic Reboot” is conducted to inform the private establishments that out-of-school youth are upskilled and ready workers. They are trained in various interventions through Department of Education’s Alternative Learning System and skills training under Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and thus, they are helpful for businesses as economy opens and starts rebuilding and revitalizing. Moreover, the forum also brought out-of-school youth closer to the actual scene of employment. USAID O2 is partnering with private sector in implementing their plans, programs and projects. The forum featured a session flow that opened series of topics in relation to the importance of having technically competent and highly adaptable workforce as the country bounces back from the effects of COVID-19 health crisis. Speaker and Integrated Communications Strategist Eugene Claravall explained the values and common truths of the current young generation or Generation Z, where the out-of-school youth belong. 2.9M of Philippines’ total population is out-of-school youth. This population is a group of young dreamers and are striving for a better future. They want to be always present and be connected and desired their parents to respect their voices. They also believe that happiness is a personal design, a choice and happy life is a fulfilling life. Thus, one should choose to be happy. Gen Zs believe in the mantra,  “Kaya ko ‘to! G lang nang G with all negativities around.” Gen Zs are also resilient, the kind of attitude that will not easily surrender. Generation Z people also cling to the idea that family is eternal. For them, optimism is fueled by faith, hope and salvation “Diskarte, lakas ng loob, sipag at sakripisyo are means to realize dreams… and Generation Z are also known for “Malasakit” (Strategies, courage and sacrifices are means to realize dreams. Generation Z are also known for Malasakit, the feeling of treating others as their family),” Claravall shared, implying that businesses could take advantage of these admirable traits of youth by training and eventually employing them. On the other hand, another event speaker, Dr. Carl Balita of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry discussed that the youth and even the general public is experiencing the challenges of a “VUCA World.” VUCA is a modern term and abbreviation that means volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. He said that people are in the time and place of “Volatility” where things change rapidly. There is “Uncertainty” and everyone are already unclear about the present. The world is as well bombarded with “Complexity,” where people are faced with multiple key decision factors. Finally, in a VUCA World, there is “Ambiguity.” There is a lack of clarity about meanings. Piling to these are difficulties brought about by the pandemic like closure of businesses, unemployment, overwhelmed economics and virus scare, among others. People are pressed down, he said. Balita suggested that in order for a person to manage every difficulty, he must turn around meaning of VUCA which is having a vision, achieving understanding, clarity and being agile. He said that having agility is a key factor of an individual for him to be a good contributor to a business in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Being agile is the ability to adapt quickly with change, grow aligned with the vision, innovate customer-centrism, learn to learn and execute collaboratively. The forum also featured success stories of Filipino youth under USAID, presentation of Opportunity 2.0 interventions and a panel discussion. Opportunity 2.0 is a P1.9 billion program, funded by United States Agency for International Development that will improve education, employment and livelihood outcomes for out-of-school youth across 12 cities in the country until 2025. (IJBD/PIA10)

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Villanueva mayor seeks to balance agri, industrial dev't in 2021

January 4, 2021

MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Jan. 4 (PIA)--"There are two sides to the Villanueva economy: one where large locators of the Phividec Industrial Estates are situated; while the other depends on agriculture." Mayor Jennie Rosalie Uy-Mendez, guest in the first episode of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar’s Network Briefing News, January 4, shared there needs to be a balance between the industrial and agricultural sector. The choice to become industrial, she said, was not from the local government unit but in the 1970s and 1980s when Villanueva and Tagoloan was chosen to become Phividec areas now known as Phividec Industrial Authority. Meanwhile, since then many industries have existed, Mendez said, “It has such a positive influence in our community in terms of giving employment opportunities to our people, but I also want to develop our agricultural sector together with the industrial sector. Our products are rice, corn, banana, mangoes, cacao, and these products i believe can also be used in food processing.” The mayor added that they have two public markets that are in the works for 2021. One is the existing public market in Barangay Katipunan. It’s undergoing a major renovation right now with a terminal for tricycles, trisikads and habal-habal, for easier access to the markets, and has its parking space. She said they are also developing a new market near the national highway, municipal hall complex, and to a public terminal soon to rise in 2021. The whole town is 100 percent electrified, Mendez said. The upgrading of power sub-station in Villanueva as a project of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) Mindanao backbone was installed in the last sitio of Villanueva town that had no electricity. Since putting up the substation, investments will expand, businesses will boom even the rural areas, said Mendez, because as she related, few years ago, the roads have been concretized, but electricity was the missing piece of the puzzle. "Now that it has power, I know investment and developments will expand beyond the Phividec Industrial Authority," she added. Meanwhile, the Villanueva Food Market has been one of the programs the Municipal Government of Villanueva has done amid the pandemic. With the use of social media, the LGU’s Food Market is able to sell online using social media with local goods such as processed fish, bagoong, kakanin, handicrafts like lampshade paper, rugs, etc. "This time, the town’s products are known. They have seen our products because of social media when we go live. These are products of fishermen’s wives," Mendez said. The year 2020 has been full of ironies, said the mayor, because they were forced to slow down, not because of choice but of circumstance. Before the pandemic they wanted to make use of social media but people wanted to see in person the activities and products, but during the pandemic, they were able to push social media marketing. The mayor said, "Life has its ups and downs and its seasons, but in every season, there is wisdom and that it is important to always be positive to receive even more blessings." (JMOR/PIA10)

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DICT MC3 commends DigitalJobsPh online freelancers from Marawi

January 4, 2021

MARAWI CITY, Dec. 30 -- The Department of Information and Communications Technology Mindanao Cluster 3 (DICT MC3) commended 20 Maranao graduates for completing the DigitalJobsPH Technical Training during their graduation ceremony video conference on December 21, Monday at College of Information Technology, Mindanao State University (MSU) Marawi.   Aligned with the livelihood program under Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery program, the technical training aims to equip internally displaced and disadvantaged talents with information-and-communications technology (ICT) skills for the online freelancing industry.     It is also one of DICT's interventions under the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pagasa government program to provide a sustainable livelihood for those who returned to their home province from cities in response to the declining country's socioeconomic status due to COVID-19 that resulted in unemployment and business closures.   11 of the graduates who persistently completed the training in rigorous seven-week blended learning from November to December of this year were able to receive financial income after securing local and foreign clients outsourcing online tasks and jobs.    “To be online Filipino workers or OFWs, you are not required to travel in big cities locally and abroad in order to have jobs but instead in the comfort of one’s home with just computer equipment and internet connection," said DICT MC3 Regional Director Alimbzar P. Asum.   He also stressed the importance of applying ICT skills learned from the training to improve the consumer reach of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).   “I would like to congratulate each and every one of you who bring success to DigitalJobsPH Technical Training in Marawi City now that this adds and enhances your skills in ICT to increase your job qualifications and you might even help fellow Maranao businessmen in advertising and marketing their products and services using social media platforms or build up your own business," he said to the graduates.   Asum further noted that DICT shall establish digital hubs and deploy more free public Wi-Fi access points in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province as a whole to accommodate the people with free ICT resources in performing online jobs and transactions as this will eliminate their burden from having limited computer devices and unstable internet connectivity.   Graduates and trainers poured their appreciation to DICT MC3’s effort in offering technical training in their community and shared their experience of learning the ICT skills set they used to acquire online jobs through which overall hard work resulted in a positive effect on their lives.   DigitalJobsPH Technical Training for this year was made possible in partnership with MSU Marawi.   Dean of College of Information Technology Professor Maimona Marohomsalic-Asum expressed her congratulatory message to the graduates and ensured continuous support in implementing extension project similar to the mandate of the academic institution such as collaboration with DICT in providing technical skills to individuals belonging to the community where maintaining peace and development is the core objective. (DICT Lanao del Sur)

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Strengthening sustainable livelihoods in Marawi through meaningful partnerships

January 4, 2021

MARAWI CITY, Dec. 30 - The Restoring Livelihoods and Learning in Marawi Project, funded by The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) through Asian Development Bank (ADB), supports the implementation of Output 4 of the Philippine Government’s Emergency Assistance for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi (ERRM) with the objective of improving the social services and livelihood in the city.   The JFPR grant complements the government’s Marawi rehabilitation initiatives. The consortium is headed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd) and Save the Children Philippines as the implementing organization, facilitating contracts with executive agencies for services rendered under the grant.   The grant specifically provides support on short-term emergency employment, longer-term livelihood development for working-age men and women, and culturally- and age-appropriate, gender- and conflict-sensitive learning opportunities for boys and girls.    “The project’s objective is to ensure access to emergency income and livelihood support to the conflict-affected internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Marawi and its neighboring municipalities,” said Edwin Horca, BARMM Team Leader, Save the Children Philippines. He added that the project also addresses the youth sector by providing them peace education, learning and livelihood opportunities.    The project’s livelihood component supports 1,200 beneficiaries in accessing livelihood programs. “Our livelihood program is adopted and integrated with DOLE’s Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) and DTI’s Shared Services Facility Program (SSFP),” expressed Horca.    Project beneficiaries identified by DTI will receive trainings on business planning, basic entrepreneurship development, productivity, safety and health, and production skills. They will also receive livelihood starter kits to spearhead or further improve their existing livelihoods.   Save the Children in partnership with DTI released booster funding to each of the 69 beneficiaries identified, screened and endorsed by the agency. These beneficiaries were seen as having the potential of creating impact in the community as their products will be promoted in both local and international markets. Usec. Abdulgani Macatoman of the Office of Special Concerns and DTI Bangon Marawi Program heads the Product Promotion Group of DTI to bring these plans into reality.   Women will also receive further livelihood business scale up with access to microfinance through ADBs Fostering Women’s Empowerment Through Financial Inclusion in Conflict-Impacted and Lagging Provinces Project.   All of the activities are aligned with the government’s needs assessment and the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP), managed by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).   “The project is a collaborative inter-agency effort of doing the same work guided with the same vision of restoring and rebuilding the lives of people especially the women and youth of Marawi through sustainable livelihoods,” shared Horca.  (Save the Children)

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TFBM YEARENDER: Marawi towards a modern, progressive Islamic City

January 4, 2021

More than just rehabilitating Marawi Ciy, the government, through the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), is determined to "bring back better" the former glory of the country’s only Islamic city. Since July this year, rehabilitation works by 56 implementing agencies under TFBM, headed by Secretary Eduardo D. Del Rosario, in Marawi City’s Most Affected Area (MAA) or the so-called “ground zero” went full blast immediately after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved the release of the PHP3.56-billion budget in April and May. Outside MAA, composed of the 72 least affected barangays, economic vibrancy has returned as evidenced by the dramatic increase in revenue collection in terms of real estate and business taxes by the local government – from a mere PHP500,000 annually prior to the May 2017 siege to about PHP30 million this year. Clearly, the government is on the right track not only in rehabilitating the city, but also in modernizing it with cutting-edge infrastructure. “We envision the rehabilitation of Marawi to be a catalyst for growth and sustainable development, a model for good governance and serve as a template to achieve a peaceful environment,” Secretary Del Rosario said. “I won’t be surprised that after the rehabilitation, maybe in 10 years, Marawi City will bloom economically and be very competitive,” he added. Despite the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease 2019,  the TFBM went on with the implementation of major projects, most of which are slated for completion by December of 2021 as embodied in the master development plan. The Task Force had carried out infra and non-infra interventions to help the Maranaos cope-up and guide them in rebuilding their lives, including financial and livelihood assistance. Eighty-one percent of the targeted construction of 5,266 transitory shelters for IDPs have been built with the rest expected for completion within the first quarter of 2021. These transitory shelters are located in Barangays Sagonsongan, Boganga, Dulay and Rorogagus. As for permanent shelters, the TFBM is keen on completing 2,000 units under the Pamayandeg sa Ranaw Residences project in Barangay Dansalan. Another 1,297 permanent shelters in Barangays Dulay, Kilala, Gadongan and Patani are now in various stages of completion, jointly by the Social Housing Finance Corporation and UN-Habitat. Much development had also occurred in the Less Affected Area or LAA over the past few months. Led by the DPWH, the reconstruction of the Banggolo Bridge and the Mapandi Bridge had been completed. A pumping bridge and another similar structure in Kumatan Matampay, on the other hand, are also nearing completion. Completed projects in LAA are the following: an AFP Maritime Outpost, a City Command Center, a Fire Sub-station and a corn-processing facility. Ongoing projects, meanwhile, are the provision of electrical and water utilities, including the Salintubig Reservoir courtesy of the LWUA and LASURECO. The TFBM is likewise hastening efforts in finishing the reconstruction of other public buildings and transcentral roads in various parts of the LAA. Meanwhile, inside MAA, construction works are ongoing for a four-storey school building, the Marawi Central Fire Station, the mall-like Grand Padian Central Market, a Peace Memorial Park, the Marawi City Museum, School of Living Tradition and 24 barangay complexes each having their own health clinic and madrasah. All of these undertakings are set for completion by December of 2021. Works for the 24-kilometer road networks with underground provision for electricity and water utilities inside "ground zero" are now also on full-swing and are expected for completion by the third quarter of next year. Other key facilities eyed inside the MAA are a multi-level carpark, more schools for the Maranao youth and a Lake Lanao promenade. Another key accomplishment for TFBM is the start of mobilization of different private partner-developers in rehabilitating various Islamic houses of praise that were either damaged or destroyed during the siege, including the Grand Mosque, the Bato Mosque and White Mosque. A total of 30 mosques are programmed to be reconstructed inside MAA. The task force is bent on strengthening further its coordination with the Marawi local government unit, led by Mayor Majul Gandamra, the Maranao traditional leaders and other stakeholders to hasten the completion of rehabilitation projects and bring back full normalcy in the Islamic City.  (30)

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Lanao del Sur PDC adopts 20-year dev't plan

December 29, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Dec. 28 (PIA) - The Lanao del Sur Provincial Development Council (PDC) adopted the 20-year Provincial Development and Physical Framework (PDPFP) as it works towards its vision of a green, bountiful, progressive, equitable, and prosperous province. In line with the Provincial/Local Planning and Expenditure Management (P/LPEM) guidelines of the National Economic and Development Authority, the PDPFP 2020-2040 dubbed "Vision 2040: Panagontaman Ko Kathagompiya a Ingëd a Ranaw" consists of seven sectoral goals - governance, environment, economic, infrastructure, social, culture, and peace and security. Azrifa Mamutuk, head of the team that crafted the plan, said the 20-year provincial development and physical framework is the first of its kind in the Bangsamoro region. "The PDPFP 2020-2040 is the mother plan of all development plans of the province. Under the plan, we want a green and environment-friendly province, a food secure province kung saan walang nagugutom, an equitable province na pantay-pantay lahat ng tao at lahat may 'say' sa mga ginagawa ng gobyerno, at higit sa lahat isang prosperous, progressive, at peaceful na Lanao del Sur," she further said. The PDPFP clustered the province into four functional and production corridors each having its own core capabilities and working as one to revitalize the economy of the province. "The service and industrial sectors will gravitate towards Metropolitan Marawi being the center and the primary growth area. It will handle domestic trade and export. On the other hand, the Agri-industrial Corridor of coastal towns has the natural advantage to serve as a transit hub and industrial production for exports while the Basak Corridor and the Commercial Crop Corridor are vital production areas," Mamutok added. According to her, all corridors will be linked by multi-modal transport and infrastructure systems. "A lot of challenges came along the way but these challenges did not hinder this administration in accomplishing this document. As Chief Executive of the Province of Lanao del Sur, I am genuinely confident of this strategic document that defines the future of Lanao del Sur if taken with utmost sincerity and full commitment by all sectors," said Provincial Governor Mamintal Alonto-Adiong Jr. He emphasized that the 20-year development plan provides the overall development framework of the province and translates the provincial government's vision into practical strategies that can be implemented.  "Given the enthusiasm and commitment of all sectors, I am heartened by the promise for sustained recovery and reconstruction, as well as the upliftment of the lives of the people in our communities, as evidenced by the rich potential unveiled in this PDPFP," the Governor added. (APB/PIA-ICIC)

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