Basilan gets support for youth development program
John Unson ( - November 18, 2015 - 12:46am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The support from the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) for a youth development program in Basilan is a vote of confidence for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), officials said Wednesday.

The AFI’s donation of P100,000 shall be spent in educating youth groups in 10 barangays in Basilan province on formulation of socio-economic projects needed to boost the welfare and productivity of local Muslim and Christian folks.

AFI’s president, Ruel Maranan, and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman signed last week in Isabela City in Basilan a memorandum of agreement detailing cooperation in implementing the project, to benefit hundreds of Muslim and Christian adolescents.

“The coming in of the Ayala Foundation, Inc. to help is a sign that the ARMM government is gaining headway in its effort to reform the regional bureaucracy into a trustworthy governance mechanism,” said John Magno, secretary of the education department in the autonomous region.

The office of Hataman will provide a P5 million counterpart for the Basilan youth development program.

“It is in this kind of partnership where the ARMM government can show to donors and benefactors from outside that we have an improved regional government now, one that has risen from its being so stereotyped as corrupt and inefficient,” said Hadja Nuring Jamaldin, assistant superintendent of public schools in Basilan.

The office of the Technical Skills and Development Authority in the autonomous region (TESDA-ARMM), which is operating under Hataman’s ministerial control, will provide the needed interventions to beneficiary-youth groups to encourage involvement in countryside peace and economic ventures.

The program is aimed at empowering Basilan’s youth sector by training students and out-of-school beneficiaries on formulation and management of community-driven projects, particularly those that can hasten the Mindanao peace process.

The youth development program agreement Maranan and Hataman launched in Isabela City, former capital of Basilan, last week is also supported by the Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines, where the ARMM governor is a member.

Hataman trained on governance and public administration for culturally-pluralistic communities at the United States of America last year under an Eisenhower study program.

The Eisenhower Fellowships program was established in 1953 by a group of Americans in honor of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, in recognition of his good works as a soldier and eventually as president and world leader.

The organization provides free out-of-country learning modules for young leaders from around the globe to promote good governance and propagate interfaith and racial solidarity for world peace.

Under the AFI-ARMM agreement, the Makati-based non-government organization committed P10,000 for each of the youth organizations in the ten recipient Basilan barangays.

The program will also involve an umbrella bloc of local youth groups, the influential Basilan Young Leaders Program, which has sub-groups in Lamitan City and the 11 towns in the island province.

Maranan, in a message, said it was Hataman who enticed them to help provide Basilan’s youth communities with a development package needed to ensure their productivity as an important sector in the island province.

He said they agreed to come in and help, convinced of the Hataman administration’s dedication in promoting peace and sustainable development in the ARMM provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

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