By Vincent Philip Bautista
MARAWI CITY, May 25–To further capacitate internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the various barangays of Lanao Del Sur in entrepreneurship and business management, Plan International and their partners in the private and public sector rolled out its “Barangay Entrepreneurship Program” in concurrence to this year’s Marawi Week of Peace.
“The event is being sponsored by the Marawi Response Project and it’s a means for us to provide further assistance to IDPs and host community members whom we’ve organized into Community Solidarity Groups (CSGs) to further develop their respective livelihood activities moving towards full-blown businesses,” said Plan International Economic Manager Lauro Tito Ilagan.
According to Ilagan, they have partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-10 and Ministry of Trade, Invested, and Tourism (MITT) as key resource persons to provide guidelines and knowledge on how to properly kick-start their participant’s respective businesses through best registration practices and in sustaining and developing it through marketing strategies, market access, and mentoring.
Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the MRP reaches out to IDPs and their host communities through their partner organizations such as Ecosystems Work For Essential Benefits (ECOWEB) and Maranao People Development Center (MARADECA) to identify and create CSGs and give in-kind grant support based on their needs.
“For this particular event, we’ve only done this to six municipalities so far, we’ve started in Iligan City, Balo-i, Tugaya, Balindong, Marantao, Lumba-Bayabao, hanggang ma hit naming yung (until we hit all) 19 municipalities where the MRP operates,” he disclosed.
While aiming to do a significant number of trainings in May, Plan International anticipates finishing their Barangay Entrepreneurship Program in mid-June to eventually focus on the specific interventions that they identified from their consultation process.
Diamond Mauna Abinal, a participant from Brgy. Mantapoli shared her gratitude and knowledge they learned from the program, “Natutunan ko kung paano mag simula and yung mga business kung paano palaguin, nakakatulong talaga” she said.
(I learned how to start and what kind of businesses to develop, it’s really useful)
Aside from helping IDPs and host communities learn best practices in starting their businesses, Ilagan emphasized the importance for their participant’s businesses to be sustainable for the long term.
“It’s very important to capacitate them because the MRP won’t be here forever, so once we’re gone we need to make sure and be assured that the investment we made on providing livelihood to the CSGs will go on even after the program,” he said. Philippine Information Agency