Zambo Badjao women “bakwits” undergo livelihood training

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/19 September) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allocated P300,000 for the conduct of livelihood training for Badjao women “bakwits” who were among those displaced by the 20-day September 2013 standoff.

The standoff started September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members loyal to MNLF founding-chairman Nur Misuari infiltrated four coastal barangays in this city.

Sisinio Cano, DOLE regional director, said Thursday that 59 Badjao women were undergoing a five-day livelihood training in weaving mats using pandan leaves and other products.

The training started Wednesday and was held at the Masepla Transitory Site in Barangay Mampang.

Cano said the training participants will also be taught to produce other products made of pandan leaves like slippers and bags.

He said the training is their commitment to help the Badjao women “bakwits” to enhance their weaving skills.

He said it also included values formation, security and health, and financial literacy to empower the participants.

The official said the training is a joint effort of DOLE, the local government and other government agencies.

The agencies involved are the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, and Agriculture.

DOLE and its partner agencies provided the materials for the training. (MindaNews)