Franz de la Fuente | November 8, 2018
The Aboitiz Group, through its business units and Aboitiz Foundation, launched today a number of sustainable livelihood programs to help Maranaos start anew, one year after Marawi City’s liberation from the armed siege. Dubbed “Kawiyagan: Biyaya ng Pagbabago”, the program is a series of sustainable livelihood initiatives for the residents of Sagonsongan Resettlement Site, which temporarily houses thousands of displaced families. It complements the government’s efforts to help the once bustling capital of Lanao Del Sur get back on its feet.
These livelihood opportunities include an agri micro-entrepreneurship program for corn farmers, construction of bakeries and donation of baking equipment with capability-building training, donation of hollow-block making kits and sacks of cement to help rebuild structures. Aboitiz will also donate electrical equipment to Lanao Del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) to help restore power service to the area.
Since last year, the Aboitiz Group has spent nearly PHP26 million reaching out to displaced families in Marawi.
The Aboitiz Group is committed to always lend a helping hand to our fellow Filipinos who are in need of prompt assistance. At the heart of the support we give and driven by the value of responsibility, we made sure that our programs were the kind of assistance that would make a significant impact on the lives of displaced Maranaos.
– Sabin M. Aboitiz
Chief Operating Officer
Aboitiz Equity Ventures
Under Kawiyagan (the Maranao term for ‘livelihood’) program, Aboitiz inaugurated three newly-constructed bakeries and distributed 12 bakery kits to qualified Kilusang Pagbabago affiliated local groups and organizations in Iligan and Marawi through the Office of the Cabinet Secretary – Office of the Participatory Governance.
Each bakery kit contains a steel oven, bread racks, working table, dough roller, display shelf, delivery bicycle, and an initial supply of Pilmico Halal flour. The physical donation is supplemented by bakery training that would help beneficiaries sustain the enterprise.
Mother of five Jasmine Balt, one of the bakery kits beneficiaries speaks in behalf of mothers who have lost their income resources after the harrowing five-month-long siege.
Kaya nagpapa-salamat ako sa Aboitiz atsaka sa Pilmico na binigyan kami ng ganitong training na bakery. Kung mabigyan po kami ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng livelihood na bakery, napaka-laking tulong po sa amin, lalo na sa mga mothers na walang kabuhayan ngayon. (I am very thankful to Aboitiz and Pilmico for giving us this training. If we’ll be given the opportunity to have our own bakery as means of livelihood, it would be such a big help, especially for mothers who have no other source of income).
– Jasmine Balt
Bakery kit beneficiary
Meanwhile, Noni Lao, an evacuee from Raya Saduc, Marawi and another bakery kit beneficiary, said the horrendous experience continues to haunt her, leaving her hopeless at times.
“Di ko alam paano kami naka-survive. Gaano ka rich sa Marawi noon, pare-pareho na kami ngayon – walang rich, walang poor. Lahat poor. (I don’t know how we survived. No matter how rich you were in Marawi then, we are all the same now. There’s no rich, no poor. Everyone is poor.),” she shared.
Yellow corn farmers
Aboitiz forged a partnership with non-stock non-profit Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship’s GoNegosyo to mentor some 200 Maranao yellow corn producing farmers and link them up to potential buyers.
Pilmico and Aboitiz Foundation, together with GoNegosyo and Task Force Bangon Marawi, rolled out a three-year micro-entrepreneurship partnership program for internally displaced people in Balo-i resettlement area.
The idea is to train (through the Kapatid Mentor Me program) and initially finance these farmers. Once they pass the Pilmico corn quality standard, they will supply a portion of its yellow corn requirements for its various feeds products.
To date, the program has conducted several training sessions including entrepreneurial mind setting, values formation, marketing management, basic canvas model, basic accounting, financial management, and basic cooperative management.
Building a stronger Marawi
Meanwhile, Aboitiz Infrastructure unit Republic Cement launched “Mindanao”, a new line of cement to help ensure that supply is ready for the incoming construction requirements to rebuild Marawi. “Mindanao” is a blended cement Type 1P conforming to Philippine National Standards, exclusively manufactured for “Bangon Marawi” efforts.
The development of Mindanao coincides with our thrust for nation-building. Our objective is to build stronger homes and stronger structures for a stronger Marawi.
– Nabil Francis
Republic Cement Services, Inc.
Apart from promoting quality and locally-made building materials for the rehabilitation of Marawi, Republic Cement donated hollow-block making kits for four cooperatives and have pledged 1,000 bags of Mindanao cement for the rebuilding of structures within Marawi. Said donation is expected to open up employment opportunities for the Maranaos, especially in the communities where displaced families are now returning.
“Many families and communities have been displaced, with devastated homes and no livelihood to return to. Now is the time to rebuild. More than cement supply, we want to help the displaced citizens of Marawi rebuild their lives,” said Nabil Francis, President, Republic Cement Services.
AboitizPower distribution unit Davao Light also turned over nearly PHP1.9 million-worth of electrical equipment, power cables, and concrete poles to LASURECO during the sustainable livelihood program launch.
This new set of donation complements the combined PHP3.7 million-worth electrical supplies donation made by Davao Light and Cotabato Light to the same beneficiary last February to help fast-track power restoration in Marawi.
[The Aboitiz Group’s] commitment to helping Filipinos by providing sustainable livelihood and income opportunities is laudable and worthy of emulation. Indeed, such partnership for change and commitment to help is most welcome in President Duterte’s ‘Biyaya ng Pagbabago’ for a better Marawi.
– Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario
Task Force Bangon Marawi