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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ARMM regional govt launches Ramadan Sadaqa

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 29 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will conduct a ‘Ramadan Sadaqa’ on June 30, 2015 in Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindanao by assisting flood victims.

An act of charity and initiated by ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, the activity will cater to almost 2,000 families affected by the calamity.

Ramil Masukat, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office director, said the distribution of goods will be held in Sultan Sa Barongis, which suffered heavily from the flood.

He said the regional government will distribute food packs, school supplies, and hygiene kits.

The Office of Civil Defense-ARMM will augment the assistance by donating slippers, pails and dippers. All the 12 barangays of Sultan Sa Barongis are currently inundated, with five barangays reporting knee-high floodwater.

Masukat said Sultan Sa Barongis is a flood-prone municipality because of its geographical location. The town is situated within three river systems – the Ala, Kabulnan and Kakal.

The ARMM-Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART) is currently conducting monitoring, validation, and assessment of the extent of flood damage in other towns in Maguindanao.

Atty. Kirby Abdullah, ARMM-HEART focal person, said the team has already coordinated its activities with local government units affected by the flood. Moreover, members of the team have immediately went down to the ground as soon as reports on the flood were received.

Based on ARMM-HEART reports, the towns of Rajah Buayan, Datu Salibo, Paglat, Paglas, and Datu Abdullah Sangki were also affected by the calamity. However, most of the damage was on crops and livestock. The flood, which is caused by continuous heavy rainfall, also disrupted classes in at least six schools.

Last June 23, the country’s weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, officially declared the start of the rainy season. The agency said that the wet season could last three more months. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)

Monday, June 29, 2015

4,562 students in ARMM finish TESDA courses

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 27 (PIA) --- A total of 4,562 students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) successfully graduated with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) certificates in vocational courses for the first semester of 2015.

Datu Omar Shariff Jaafar, TESDA-ARMM executive director, said that this is part of the region’s efforts to develop and improve the socio-economic status of residents in the region.

“There is no age limit as long as they want to be trained and we are encouraging out-of-school youth, persons with disability, and those who do not have a job (to enroll in TESDA courses),” Jaafar said.

Courses offered include automotive and land transport, computer systems servicing, electronics products assembly and servicing, dressmaking, healthcare services, pharmacy services, security services, 2D animation, visual graphic design, metals and engineering, bartending, bread and pastry production, food and beverage servicing, and front office services.

This year, TESDA-ARMM hopes to generate 24,500 tech-voc graduates with employable skills in the region. The TESDA central office has allotted P21.28 million to 2,358 slots under the Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP), and P10.86 million for 1,203 slots under the Private Education Student Financial Assistance (PESFA) in the five provinces of ARMM.

TWSP and PESFA are scholarship programs currently implemented by TESDA that address equity and access issues by providing direct financial assistance to deserving technical-vocational education and training enrollees nationwide.

After a chosen training program is completed, a graduate will undergo competency assessment to determine if he can be certified as technical education and skills development specialist. Passers will be awarded TESDA National Certificate, or Certificate of Competency.

“After the 36 days of training, my welding skills will help increase my chances of getting a job,” said Rhiden Aguilar, a 35 year old graduate of Shielded Metal Arc Welding Course.

Unemployed women can also avail of training that could earn extra income, or even launch a business enterprise, such as food processing. Fatima Mamaluba, a 51 year old housewife in Upper Capiton, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao said she learned a lot from her training in food processing.

 TESDA programs are free of charge to out-of-school youth, persons with disabilities, as well as employed and unemployed residents of the region. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)

Delegates of Democratic Progress Institute visit ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 27 (PIA) --- Delegates of the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI), an international group that specializes in conflict resolution, visited the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Friday, June 26, to discuss the ongoing peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (GPH-MILF).

ARMM Chief of Staff Lawyer Rasol Mitmug Jr. with the region’s Public Works and Highways (DPWH-ARMM) Secretary Don Mustapha Loong led a brief discussion on the region’s initiatives on the Bangsamoro transition.

DPI was established in consultation with a group of international experts in conflict-affected areas around the world, including Turkey, and other countries such as Peru, South Africa and Ireland.

It aims to broaden the base for dialogue and conflict resolution through activities, mainly study visits, as well as round table meetings. Participants include members of the Parliament from Turkey’s main political parties, Wise Persons Commission, policy makers and journalists.

The DPI delegates conducted a week-long, from June 21-27,  comparative study visit to the Philippines to explore lessons learned from the southern Philippines’ peace process

“This is an important and timely visit, which comes at a critical point in the Philippines’ peace process in particular in relation to the recent decommissioning of weapons,” said DPI Director Kerim Yildiz.

During the briefing, Atty. Mitmug also discussed various programs and projects for the region’s constituents. (BPI/APB/PIA-10

Saturday, June 27, 2015

DPWH-ARMM to construct P10-B worth of projects in 2015

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 25 (PIA) --- The Department of Public Works and Highways of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) has programmed this year various projects in the five provinces of the region with total allocation of P10 billion.  

The P10-billion worth of projects includes 500 kilometers of roads, 45 seaports and 91 water supply systems.

In a press conference dubbed “Tapatan sa ARMM” on June 24, newly installed Secretary Don Mustapha Loong said his department is speeding up work to meet its target of implementing these projects within the year. 

Secretary Loong is continuing the reform agenda started by the previous administration of former secretary Engr. Emil Sadain and the regional government.

Engr. Sadain, the head of the regional public works agency for the past three years, is now the DPWH national office’s assistant secretary for foreign-funded projects. 

Secretary Loong also reiterated that the DPWH-ARMM has many flagship projects in the region’s five provinces. In 2014, the DPWH-ARMM targeted P5-billion worth of projects, which include 400 kilometers of roads, 13 bridges, 17 seaports and 12 drainage structures. 

 “As of now, projects for 2014 had achieved a physical accomplishment of 70 percent,” Sec. Loong said.

He further said that they are now doing things faster and systematic and strengthening their partnership with the local government units for the people of ARMM in order for them to have cheaper transport of goods and products, better access to tourism sites, and mainly to uplift the lives of the people in the region.” 
The agency is currently working on flood control and drainage improvement projects to minimize flooding during the rainy season. 

DPWH-ARMM is also focusing on roads leading to tourist spots in partnership with the ARMM’s Tourism department. 

 “This will boost the region’s tourism industry and will attract more visitors and tourists,” he added. (Bureau of Public Information/APB/PIA-10)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Employees of ARMM-locally funded agencies to receive salaries through ATMs

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 23 (PIA) --- The Regional Budget and Management Office of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RBMO-ARMM) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) has inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) implementing the release of the salaries of employees of eight locally funded agencies through automatic teller machine (ATM) accounts.

Mailyn Macusang, RBMO-ARMM executive director, and Marissa Dalidig, LBP Estosan branch head, led the ceremonial signing at the Pagana Kutawato Restaurant in Cotabato City.

Macusang said the MOA is part of the ARMM government’s objective promoting good governance under the leadership of Governor Mujiv Hataman.

“The current administration of ARMM has introduced policies on open-governance system, processes and other interventions to improve and institutionalize the ARMM budgeting system as part of its quest for good governance,” Macusang said.

Currently, the agency is prioritizing the elimination of ghost employees as well as fast-tracking the process of salary payments.

On January 22 this year, Gov. Hataman signed Administrative Order No. 004 that entrusted the RBMO-ARMM with managing its own funds as well as seven other agencies.

These agencies are ARMM Development Academy, Bureau on Cultural Heritage, Coordinating and Development Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs, Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women, Regional Reconciliation and Unification Council, Regional Sports Coordinating Office and Southern Philippines Development Authority.

More than 150 employees from these agencies will receive their salaries through ATM accounts starting this month. Major departments under the regional government had already implemented payments of salary through ATM accounts, and the inclusion of locally funded agencies is another milestone for the autonomous regional government, Macusang said.

The LBP also conducted proper training on Republic Act 10365, or the Anti Money Laundering Act of 2012, especially on Know-Your-Client procedures, to all concerned employees of the eight agencies. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)