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Saturday, August 30, 2014

625 aspiring teachers in ARMM undergo competency exam

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 29 --- Some 625 licensed teachers applying for teaching vacancies in the province took the three-day Teachers Assessment and Competency Examination (TACE) given by the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) which started Tuesday, August 26.

John Magno, DepEd-ARMM’s assistant secretary for operations, said ARMM will hire 2,000 additional teachers this year to fill the vacancies and improve teacher-student ratio in schools in the region.

He said the TACE involves three phases: the written exam, panel interview and a teaching demonstration.

Aside from allowing them to gauge the competence of aspiring teachers, TACE will also give DepEd-ARMM the chance to tests the psychological fitness of the applicants.    

“We come up with this kind of system to ensure that only qualified and competent teachers will be hired in our schools to address, among other things, the unsatisfactory performance of the region in the National Achievement Test (NAT),” he said.

ARMM still falls behind other regions despite a significant increase in its performance in the NAT this year.  

One of the applicants, Sitti Naima Banaga, 24, of Lumbabayabao town in Lanao del Sur expressed optimism after completing the TACE.

“The hiring process today is more transparent, unlike before when it was tarnished by issues of bribery and connections,” she said. 

Banaga recently resigned as a private school teacher.  She said she believes it is her calling to help mold the minds of school children in ARMM through dynamic and effective teaching methods.

ARMM recently hired more than 1,000 additional teachers this year in an open and competitive process that sidelined influence peddling and padrino system. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Religious scholars in Lanao unify to support peace process

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 26 (PIA) --- Muslim scholars and members of the religious sector in the province gathered here on Sunday, August 24, to unify themselves in backing the peace initiatives for Mindanao.

Alim Abdul Hannan M. Tago, one of the speakers during 2nd Ulama Summit Conference, said that “the religious scholars have to be united first before they can unify all the Muslims in the region.”

Thus, the Muslim religious scholars who attended the summit unanimously agreed to reject disagreement, disunity and create appropriate solutions to any problem that may occur.

They also expressed optimism that the Bangsamoro cause will effect a just and lasting peace not just in the region but in the whole country as well.

“Once there is peace and order in the region, it will also give peace not just to the adjoining regions but in the country as a whole because whether we like it or not, when there is no peace in Mindanao, there is no peace in the Philippines as well,” said Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, chairman of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and 2nd Chief of Staff of the Office of the 2nd Vice-Chairman MILF Central Committee.

Accordingly, the success of the peace process is not only the success of the MILF and the national government but also the Bangsamoro people in general.

Alim Tago thus inspired everyone to be sincere in supporting the peace process in order to have a lasting peace in the country.

He said the cooperation of the Bangsamoro people is highly significant in making the peace process a success.

Meanwhile, Dr. Dipatuan emphasized that sustainable peace will spur economic development in the region as this will more attract investors. (Johaniah N. Yusoph/APB/PIA-10 Lanao del Sur)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Maternal, child health care in ARMM improve

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug 21 (PIA) --- The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) have gathered government and private health workers engaged in maternal and child health care in the region to evaluate two of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets of the ARMM government.

MDGs are eight international development goals set by the United Nations to be attained in 2015 following a summit of UN member states in 2000. It includes the reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health.

Dayang Jumaide, DOH-ARMM assistant secretary, said maternal and child health care have greatly improved in the ARMM with the reduction of the maternal and infant mortality rate.

In 2008, maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the region was at 245 per 100,000 live births. This was brought down to 66 per 100,000 live births in 2013, far lower than the national rate of 152 per 100,000 live births.

Further, the infant mortality rate (IMR) of 55 per 1,000 live births in 2008 in the region was reduced to 16 per 1,000 live births in 2013.

ARMM Health Secretary Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. attributes the improvement to the wide use techniques such as Active Management of Third Stage Labor (AMTFL) and Essential Intra-partum Newborn Care (EINC) and on the deployment of additional health personnel, rehabilitation and construction of health infrastructures, delivery of equipment and enhancement of skills through training. 

“The ARMM pioneered techniques which greatly reduced the IMR and MMR without the use of very sophisticated machines.”

Jumaide said the two-day workshop, held August 19-20, was meant to assess maternal and child health care in the region in preparation for the MDGs evaluation survey set in 2015.

 “We would like gauge how far have we gone in achieving our commitment to the attainment of MDGs for ARMM. We want to pool together stakeholders from the government and our partners in private institutions to strategize convergence efforts and set priority areas for mutual support and program implementation.” (Bureau of Public Information/PIA-10)

Monday, August 18, 2014

ARMM to work with new NIA chief to address irrigation gaps

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 16 (PIA) ---  To address irrigation gaps in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), newly-installed National Irrigation Administration (NIA) head Florencio Padernal met with his regional counterparts Thursday, August 14, at the region’s seat.

Just five weeks in service, Padernal said he came to ARMM to reach out to Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman and work directly with him for irrigation system development in the region.

Hataman and Padernal both agreed that ARMM has a vast irrigation potential that, if properly developed, will answer food security and rice sufficiency in the region.

During the meeting, irrigation heads of regions 9, 10 and 12 presented their status of irrigation development and project proposals before Hataman, Padernal and members of the media.

“I am very satisfied with your presentation,” said Padernal to the NIA provincial heads.

Provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi are lodged in the said irrigation management offices because of the absence of a NIA regional office in ARMM.

Padernal said he will study the feasibility of creating a NIA regional office in ARMM.

For the meantime, a focal person to coordinate with the Irrigation Management Offices of the ARMM component provinces will be designated.

“I will designate a focal person or a coordinator in ARMM to help address the gaps,” he said.

Padernal said that in the roadmap that NIA created, they want to solve all irrigation problems in the country in the next ten years. He added that he will even seek legislation help to achieve this.

“ARMM should also have a roadmap if we want to develop our irrigation systems,” said Hataman.

Padernal then proposed that a memorandum of agreement be signed between NIA and the autonomous regional government to spell out the level of coordination of the two offices in planning, programming and monitoring of irrigation projects in the region. (Bureau of Public Information)

Friday, August 15, 2014

ARMM posts surge in economic growth

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 15 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has registered a remarkable economic growth of 3.6 percent in 2013 from its 2010 mark of negative 0.3 percent.

According to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the total value of final goods and services produced in the ARMM grew from 1.1 percent in 2012 to 3.6 percent in 2013. The growth is driven by strong performance of the region’s service sector and agriculture.

Agriculture, which included hunting, fishing and forestry, accounted for 61.3 percent of ARMM’s economy followed by services with 33.6 percent and the industry sector with 5.1 percent.

ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman cited the improved confidence of the people in the regional government. Good governance meant that development aid that was meant for the sectors are actually reaching them and are being used for improvement and growth.

“The growth is attributed to the ongoing reform initiatives, the renewed confidence of investors to the region. Also we believe that the sectors have seen with their own eyes the resources that are being poured into their areas. When they realized this was for real, they continued their efforts with renewed energy and trust that the gains to be had will be theirs,” Hataman said.

The regional economy only managed a dismal recovery of 1.1 percent growth from an all-time low of negative 0.3 percent when Hataman took office in 2011. In a period of over a year, the region was brought back on track after series of bureaucratic and leadership reforms introduced by his administration.

In 2013, the region’s agriculture rebounded from negative 1.1 percent a year before to 2.5 percent, buoyed by increased production of major crops like palay, coconut, cassava and other crops and in the production of tilapia, milkfish, tiger prawn, skipjack and yellow fin tuna. 

Service sector in ARMM accelerated to 6.6 percent in 2013 from 5.9 percent in 2012 as three of its subsectors posted faster growths. Financial Intermediation grew from 10.7 percent to 18.5 percent while Trade and Repair expanded from 4.0 percent to 5.7 percent. Public Administration and Defense also grew from 5.5 percent in 2012 to 5.9 percent in 2013. 

Accelerated growths were observed in Mining and Quarrying as it grew from 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent, Manufacturing from 3.0 percent to 3.9 percent. Meanwhile, Construction rebounded from negative 3.1 percent in 2012 to 1.2 percent in 2013.

Hataman said they expect better economic performance this year given the record breaking investments that have come into the region. Investments in the ARMM soared at 72 percent this year compared to the first half of 2013. The renewable energy sector posted the largest gains.

In the province of Maguindanao, three biomass projects were pledged, with a total worth of P1.773 billion. Mindanao will benefit from the 18-plus megawatts these projects will contribute to the grid.

“We target to hit the P5-billion mark in investments by year end,” he said.

The regional government has also invested heavily on infrastructure projects that included the construction of concrete roads, ports and other public facilities. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)