By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY— At least 145 Government Internship Program (GIP) beneficiaries in Maguindanao have received two-month stipends from the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
MOLE Minister Romeo Sema led the releasing of P9,900 cash worth two months of stipends at P4,950 per month to the 145 beneficiaries in a symbolic ceremony here on Friday, August 6, the BARMM’s Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said.
GIP is a program of the MOLE under its Bureau of Employment Promotion and Welfare, aimed at giving opportunities to fresh college graduates to work in the government for three (3) months, the BIO said.
Covered in Friday’s release were stipends for the months of June and July, even as the GIP beneficiaries are yet to complete their internship for August. Each monthly stipend is equivalent to 75% of the minimum wage, the BIO said.
Minister Sema said the GIP is one of his ministry’s major programs to help unemployed college graduates in BARMM enhance their skills and talents.
He said MOLE targets 1,900 beneficiary slots across the region for this year, 400 of which are set for graduates from Islamic institutions.
Sema urged the GIP beneficiaries to take advantage of their mobile phones while searching for permanent jobs.
“There are other opportunities they can unearth (through their phones) while they are inside their homes, such as online selling. What we need now is to become creative while they are in search of greener jobs,” the BIO cited Sema as saying in Pilipino.
Sema told GIP beneficiaries: “You have to be explorative. Don’t be discouraged. We will try our best in our ministry to help you under this program.”
MOLE has also conducted continuing Labor Education and Career Coaching for GIP beneficiaries. Coaching ways included discussions on illegal recruitment and human trafficking, labor market information, stress management, and work ethics for productive workers, the BIO said.
Aziza Guiamel, 30, a secondary education graduate from Cotabato State University, averred that under the training, she learned many things that will be of big help to improve her skills and knowledge, the BIO said.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Bangsamoro Government na binigyan ako ng opportunity na maging parte ng programa na ito. Sana sa future ay marami pa kayong matutulungan,” Guiamel was quoted as saying.
Similar distribution of stipends will be done in the island provinces this month, the BIO said, not mentioning about the stance of Lanao del Sur. (AGM)