Western Mindanao State University, with its pledge to assist in rebuilding Zamboanga City from the siege that broke out last year, has collaborated with the local government and some other agencies in launching the convergence program for the promotion and establishment of the weaving industry for tepoh and other products for Badjao women and their families.
The historic launching which was held on Thursday, September 18 at the Transitory Site in MASEPLA, Mampang, was the upshot of the memorandum of agreement—among WMSU, the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA), Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the city government of Zamboanga (Office of the City Agriculturist and City Social Welfare and Development Office), and the Philippine Council for Sama-Bajao—that aims to restore lost sources of income of the Badjao folks who were displaced by the war.
59 Badjao women divided into two groups (skilled and unskilled) were the beneficiaries of the advocacy that kicked off on September 18 and shall last until November 18.
DOLE IX’s Regional Director, Dir. Sisinio B. Cano, CESO IV, led the launch as he welcomed the participants and the coordinating agencies.
Meanwhile, Jenelyn Nasari, president of the Badjao community, expressed her thanks to the institutions that sparked a change in her community.
Following the unveiling of the tarpaulin that marked the beginning of the special livelihood program, seminars and forums were scheduled until September 24. The topics that were discussed to the Badjao women were: Social Preparation and Training cum Production to include Self Awareness, Time Management and Financial Literacy by the DSWD; ISTIV (Industrious, Systematic, Time-Conscious, Innovative, and Strong Value of Work) and Good Housekeeping by the RTWPB; and Training cum Production on mat Weaving and Mass Production.
City Social Welfare Development Officer, Ms. Socorro Rojas, exhorted the participants of the training to make the best out of the workshop provided by the local government, WMSU and other agencies, highlighting how they may learn, earn and enjoy from the project since production will be right in their bunkhouses.
She further mentioned how the workshop is not confined to enhancing their inherent skills, but also in learning values as they undergo training.
At the end of the training, the Badjao folks are expected to be already capable of mass producing their products. (AJ Dalugdug – Public Affairs Office, WMSU)