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Maguindanao gives trafficking victims livelihood packages
The livestock dispersal program of Maguindanao province is meant to provide alternative source of income to victims of human trafficking. JOHN UNSON
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Two families whose breadwinners are scheduled for execution in Saudi Arabia each received a pair of cattle from the government for breeding and fattening projects.
The parents of Guiara Abdullah and Warda Mintang received the livestock grant from the Maguindanao provincial government on Wednesday.
Abdullah's parents told reporters she was wrongly accused of having murdered a Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia.
Mintang's elders meanwhile said she was convicted for having killed her employer who tried to rape her.
Abdullah and Mintang have a common denominator — that of having been recruited by human traffickers who promised them good jobs and fair employment in Saudi Arabia.
Mangudadatu said the cattle the province gave the Abdullah and Mintang families was part of his administration’s comprehensive anti-human trafficking initiative, which involves the Trade and Social Welfare departments of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The symbolic animal dispersal activity was held at the provincial capitol in Buluan town in Maguindanao.
Inaul livelihood program
TV host Kris Aquino listens as Monina Macarongon, a senior technical staff of Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu (middle), explains the cultural relevance to ethnic Maguindanaons of the handwoven "inaul" fabric, while in Maguindanao in 2014. John Unson, file
Many other Maguindanaon victims of trafficking in persons, or “TIP”, presented to reporters and government dignitaries colorful traditional malongs made of “inaul” cloth they produced using wooden looms prior to the event.
The production of the iconic inaul fabric is a centuries-old Maguindanaon craft.
It is being revived by the provincial government to generate livelihood opportunities for residents in Maguindanao’s 36 towns.
The inaul promotion program also aims to provide employment to TIP victims and dependents of Moro rebels Malacañang is helping reintroduce into mainstream society.
Also present at the launch were representatives from the provincial office of the Department of Trade and Industry, Jehanne Mutin of the Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women-ARMM, and Shalimar Candao, assistant Tourism secretary of the autonomous region.
Mutin and Candao both assured to help promote the Maguindanaon inaul fabric.
The cattle distribution and inaul exhibit activities were capped off with the release of P50,000 worth of “food cart” packages, comprised of grocery provisions, to rescued TIP victims.
The provincial government will help the food cart beneficiaries put small sari-sari stores in their yards where they can sell the merchandise distributed to them.
The food cart project is being assisted by the Department of Social Welfare-ARMM and the Committee on Women and Children in the office of Mangudadatu.