DA hires Badjao professor to handle programs for boat people
The Department of Agriculture has hired a young Badjao professor, who graduated magna cum laude from the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Tawi-Tawi, as a consultant handle government’s livelihood and education program for the Badjao people.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Roben Abdellah will be tasked to monitor the FB Pagbabago program, which seeks to distribute 200,000 fiberglass boats in five years to the poorest fishing families, including the Badjaos and other tribal groups in Southern Philippines.
Piñol said Abdellah will also handle the non-formal education of Badjao children and young adults, including teaching them how to read and write.
He said Abdellah will work under Ranibai Dilangalen, DA Undersecretary for Special Concerns and the Bangsamoro Area.
He said the Badjao part-time professor will also work closely with a group of Catholic nuns who have been teaching Badjao children and with Abdulaziz Ju, a government officer who handles the affairs of the Badjaos and other tribes.
Piñol recently gave away 20 motorised fiberglass boats to 40 Badjao families in Bongao, Tawi-tawi in exchange for sending their kids to school.
A boat is owned by two families to encourage teamwork and prevent the abuse or sale of the boats, which has been the problem of government programs that give out equipment to poor families.