The Department of Social Welfare and Development partnered with the Western Mindanao State University and other regional branches of the government in opening the Skills Training on Mat Weaving for Badjao Women Evacuees, an advocacy that aims to provide victims of the recent siege with livelihood projects that could sustain their basic necessities.
Along with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DSWD tapped WMSU to be the venue of the skills training that aims to empower the Badjao women.
However, WMSU did not only serve as the venue for the skills training, the academe has also assisted in the workshop of the evacuees all the way from Mariki and other neighboring barangays that were damaged by the siege. These war victims now stay at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex and along San Jose Cawa-Cawa Boulevard.
In an interview with Prof. Lucio C. Somblingo, Dean of the Department of Extension Services and Non Formal Education, he mentioned that the Badjao folks do not trust people instantly, hence, during the training, values were also taught to the participants aside from weaving mats with which they are already experts in.
“We are just reassessing them [the Badjao women] to see if they can still weave and so as to preserve this culture,” said Prof. Somblingo. He also added that the training will be a continuous program that is in line with the already established WMSU Floating School that caters to Badjao folks as well.
DOLE Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz has recently visited WMSU on Tuesday, November 12 to witness the skills training, along with DOLE IX Regional Director Sisinio B. Cano, TESDA IX OIC-Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili and other delegates from TESDA and DOLE.
The training also teaches the Badjao women to produce quality woven mats that may be marketable and could be at par with other locally made products in the region. DES & NFE takes charge of the selling of the mats weaved by the trainees. The proceeds of the sold mats are turned over directly to the Badjao women. (AJ Dalugdug – PAO/WMSU