COTABATO CITY – A total of 1,009,155 constituents of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) benefited from emergency programs initiated by the region’s social welfare office during the pandemic.
The programs, which were initiated in March 2020 following the declaration of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak, somehow cushioned the impact of the pandemic on poor families and children in the region, Raissa Jajurie of the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) said on Sunday.
“The programs are ongoing to advance the welfare of vulnerable sectors in the region directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic,” she said adding that over 63 percent of the region’s populace experienced poverty last year.
She also praised BARMM residents for adhering to health protocols that resulted in the continued drop of virus cases in the region.
Updates from the region’s Ministry of Health (MOH) as of March 5 showed only 95 active Covid-19 infections, with 46 from Lanao del Sur.
On Saturday, MOH-BARMM started its vaccination rollout for 4,200 healthcare workers who are directly dealing with Covid-19 patients.
Jajurie said her office also provided financial assistance to 21,052 students so far under the Angat Bangsamoro: Kabataan Tungo sa Karunungan Program; 3,094 orphans and 407 case-managed orphans with monthly subsidies under Kupkop; 9,190 persons with disability under Kalinga sa may Kapansanan; and 9,757 beneficiaries under Bangsamoro Sagip Kabuhayan to support their micro-enterprises.
There were also 81,536 daycare-supported children who were given rice and beans during supplementary feedings.
Additionally, she said MSSD-BARMM has reached out to 408,941 poor households and distributed relief assistance that included foods and non-food items.
MSSD is also working on the institutionalization of the Regional Sub-Committee on the Welfare of Children and the Regional Juvenile Justice Welfare Committee in partnership with the national government in reintegrating children in conflict with the law.
The agency likewise implemented a “corruption-free” distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in the region.
SAP is a program conceptualized by the national government to respond to the social effects of the pandemic.
“To date, a total of 475,178 poor households received emergency cash grants,” she said. “No village official or social worker was linked to irregularities.”
MSSD also provided psychological aid to locally stranded individuals, individual displaced persons, and returnees from Sabah, including infants and minor children.
“For 2021, we will continue all these programs. We will continue our assistance so that we will be able to recover economically and politically,” Jajurie said. (PNA)