Local exec to continue youth employment program
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2012 - 1:22pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The foreign-assisted Joint Programme for Youth Employment and Migration (JP-YEM) has relinquished its projects in Maguindanao province to the office of Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, who in turn, shall continue its implementation in the towns under his jurisdiction.

The JP-YEM’s sponsors include the Spanish government; the United Nations; the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration; the Department of Labor and Employment; the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration; and the Department of Education.

The symbolic turn over rite, jointly initiated by Ruth Honculada-Georget, who is programme director of JP-YEM, and Mangudadatu, was held Tuesday at the municipal gymnasium of Buluan town in Maguindanao.

The JP-YEM, under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Fund, was started two years ago, as a pilot initiative of the DOLE and the United Nations Country Team in four areas in the Philippines --- Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur.

The turnover of the JP-YEM to Maguindanao’s provincial government was hastened by the setting up by Mangudadatu’s office of a Youth Employment and Migrant Center at Buluan, which is to oversee local projects meant to provide Moro and non-Moro youth groups with easy access to domestic and foreign employments.

Testing sites

The JP-YEM was piloted in Masbate, Antique, Maguindanao and Agusan del Sur, or MAMA area, owing to the high prevalence of out-of-school youth, low enrollment in schools, and high number of migrant workers in the four provinces.

Four JP-YEM beneficiaries, Saud Abdullah, Kesid Kesid II, Farhanna Mae Talutawan, and Mosaiden Modales, took turns relating to witnesses to the project’s turn over at the Buluan gymnasium how they have benefitted from the foreign-assisted employment and migration program.

Mangudadatu said the JP-YEM will complement the peace initiatives of his administration in the province, which is partly focused on the socio-economic empowerment of the local youth communities and migrant workers.

The provincial government is assisting hundreds of scholars in different schools through its Maguindanao Peace Educational Assistance to Community Empowerment, or MagPEACE project.

The JP-YEM has already assisted some 18,000 “disadvantaged” out-of-school recipients, teachers, and dependents of overseas Filipino workers in the four provinces where it was piloted.

The programme aims to help the youth and migrant workers to become competitive enough for foreign employment.

Assistance from DOH

The turnover of the JP-YEM to Maguindanao province was followed with the turnover of dozens of medical autoclave sterilizing machines for municipal health centers in Maguindanao from the Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

An autoclave machine sterilizes medical instruments with dry, high-pressure heat.

Mangudadatu said he is grateful to the regional health secretary of ARMM, physician Kadil Sinolinding, Jr., for the autoclave machines.

Mangudadatu said he is also thankful to President Benigno Aquino III for the national government’s Transition Investment Support Plan, from where funds are allocated for various health programs and projects complementing Malacañang’s peace overtures with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Maguindanao is a known bastion of the MILF. The group’s main enclave, Camp Darapanan, is located at Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of the province.  - John Unson

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