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P4B eyed to keep youth off extremism

/ 12:26 AM January 23, 2017

COTABATO CITY—The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is setting aside P4 billion for poverty alleviation programs, which an official said should help keep the youth off extremism.

The region is feared to become the hotbed of extremism in the country and base of operations of groups like Maute of Lanao, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Ansar al-Khilafa Philippines in Maguindanao, and Abu Sayyaf, which is now styling itself as an ally of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

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Amir Mawallil, the newly appointed head of the ARMM’s Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA), said “poverty has been a pervasive problem” in the region.

Mawallil, who was appointed by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman as OBYA executive director last week, said poverty in the region threatens the future of the Bangsamoro youth.

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“Poverty makes our youth vulnerable,” he said.

He said priority in the poverty alleviation campaign are conflict-torn areas that would be given shelter, livelihood, water and social service programs.

The community programs would cover the youth in terms of basic social services and job opportunities, he said.

Mawallil said sports programs are also being offered to Bangsamoro youth to help them grow beyond the classroom.

“We have been working hard to provide quality services and job opportunities across the region, especially for the Bangsamoro youth,” Mawallil said. —NASH MAULANA

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TAGS: abu sayyaf, Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, ISIS, Philippine news updates, Terrorism
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