By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
COTABATO CITY: The Bangsamoro education ministry has partnered with an international organization and a local government unit to advance technical education in the autonomous region.
The Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Plan International, Inc. Philippines on Monday, for the provision of a 1-unit mobile training facility (14-footer wing van) that will serve as a mobile training laboratory in order to reach vulnerable communities, youth, and persons with disabilities in the region.
On the same day, MBHTE also signed a MOA with the Local Government Unit of Datu Abdullah Sangki Municipality (LGU-DAS) in Maguindanao for the latter’s donation of a 1-hectare lot for the construction of Maguindanao Provincial Training Center located at the town’s Brgy. Talisawa.
Plan International is a development and humanitarian organization that has been operating in the Philippines since 1961 that focuses on promoting children’s education, health, protection, and a high quality of life.
The signing of the agreements, both held at Alnor Convention Center in the city, aims to advance the promotion and expansion of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the community level of the Bangsamoro region.
Present on Monday’s activity were MBHTE Deputy Minister Haron Meling, who represented Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal, DAS Mayor Datu Pax Ali Sangki Mangudadatu, and Jose Felipe Eduardo Rebueno II, Manager of Plan International- Central Mindanao Philippines.
Minister Iqbal said that currently, MBHTE has only three TESDA Training Institutions in the region, one Regional Training Center in Brgy. Rebuken and the other two are provincial training centers which are located in Basilan and Lanao del Sur.
“Maguindanao, being the largest in BARMM in terms of population, does not have a provincial training center until this day. One of the reasons for this is the absence of a lot to house the training center,” Iqbal said in his speech.
“We would like to thank the honorable mayor Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu for partnering with us and for his generous and noble act that will benefit not just his constituents in DAS municipality but the entire province of Maguindanao,” he added.
According to MBHTE, for the meantime, only the provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have no provincial training centers. Nevertheless, the LGUs of both island provinces have already committed to providing pieces of lands and the ministry is just waiting for the issuance of the deed of donations.
Meanwhile, Manager Rebueno II of Plan international shared: “We implement projects that focus on child protection, youth economic empowerment, disaster risk management, and nutrition and responsive care. We plan to establish more programs in other areas of BARMM.”
Furthermore, Mayor Mangudadatu expressed his utmost willingness to donate more portions of land to advance the services of the ministry.
“Along with our SANGKAD ka DAS Program, alam ko na matutulungan tayo ng ministry, the Municipality of Datu Abdullah Sangki is willing to donate 10 or even 20-hectares of land to MBHTE, in order for us to have a Bangsamoro University, Polytechnic College, or a State University,” Mangudadatu said.
Also present during the event were MBHTE-TESD Director-General Ruby Andong, LGU-DAS Administrator Kaharuden Dalaten, Reach Mindanao Manager Basila Siago, media partners, and other personnel. (With BPI-BARMM)