(Minister Engr. Aida M. Silongan, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Bangsamoro Transition Authority, Parliament Member, BARMM with Cotabato City Administrator Atty. Aelan Arumpac pose along with equipment turned-over to The Mhanies Food Product Building and Equipment.)

MOST-BARMM turns-over equipment to beneficiaries in Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) through the leadership of Minister Engineer Aida M. Silongan, has turned-over a food processing equipment to Mhanies Food Products last September 1, 2022 at Purok Islam, Barangay Datu Balabaran, Mother Tamontaka, Cotabato City.
The turn – over ceremony has started with words of wisdom by Prof. Hashim Manticayan, President of League of Bangsamoro Organizations saying, “Alhamdulillah; kaped kanu sa nakatalima sa kanu suporta nu gobyerno tanu (All praises are due to Allah; you are among those who received support from our government).”

“This is our mission, how to serve the Bangsamoro people for the Sake of Allah (S.W.T.) because we can offer help for our people, our people feel they benefit from our government,” he added.

Representing the Cotabato City Mayor, Hon. Mohammad Ali “Bruce” Dela Cruz Matabalao, was Atty. Aelan Arumpac, the City Administrator, who said, “The intention of Ministry of Science and Technology cannot be equated with mere expressions of appreciation.”

She added, “The true worth of the gift is in effective utilization, the fulfillment of its purposes, and it is therefore our inescapable duty to see to it that this is so.”

Engr. Akan Tula from Philippine Statistics Authority of BARMM who also graced the event conveyed that there is increase in Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of the BARMM which includes Cotabato City.

“Through this kind of initiative, both the poverty incidence and the GRDP of Cotabato City will improve,” he said.

Tula said he personally knew the family background of the beneficiaries, Mr. and Mrs. Udtog, who are both orphans.

In the BMN interview, Mrs. Asmah K. Udtog, proprietor of Mhanies Food Product, said that they started their business by putting small investment worth three thousand pesos (Php. 3,000.00).

Their first business was selling of bracelet made of beads but it was not sellable which prompted them to shift to selling Moro delicacies.

Mrs. Udtog further related that they went to Department of Industry (DTI) for accreditation until they brought their finished products to local markets, and thereafter the MOST discovered their good products, inspected their manufacturing place and eventually awarded them with building and equipment.

She expressed her gratitude to Bangsamoro Gvernment, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), to the DTI and especially to MOST.

“Through their assistance we were given the chance to develop our small business and we are committed to introduce it to other places,” Mrs. Udtog said.

Engr. Silongan cited that before the turn-over of the equipment, she supported the construction of food processing building which was proposed by the Mhanies Product.

In order to produce a quality production of native food delicacies, the MOST again approved the food processing equipment so that they can have quality, standard and best product.

“Nyaba e challenge salkitanu, na tuba i bityala nami sa academe na standardize tanu tigko mumbal tanu sa menu na mga native delicacies anya na apya ngin, kanu Maguindanaon, kana Maranao, u langun a different ethnic groups,” she said in vernacular pointing that if someone will taste the product it could easily be identified that this is a delicacy of Maguindanaon or Maranao.

“The menu is for standardization of nutritional facts and measurement of ingredients for the uniformity of the products and taste,” the lady minister added.

Engr. Silongan also said that they want to see in the future that the products will be displayed in different outlets such as supermarkets and malls.

The science and technology minister said that there are eight beneficiaries within the BARMM and another eight will be awarded next year 2023 as a gradual implementation of project by her ministry.

“We will ask Allahu Taala for more blessings to come for BARMM so that this assistance from the government will spread evenly,” she added.