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Thursday, November 26, 2015

ARMM intensifies Gender and Development mainstreaming in the region

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 26 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is intensifying its campaign to mainstream Gender and Development (GAD) and eventually eliminate Violence against Women (VAW).

The region, through its Women Commission (RCBW-ARMM), kicked-off the annual “18-day campaign to end incidences of violence against women” on November 25, in Cotabato City.

The campaign, based on a national policy, is being held from November 25 to December 12 aimed at raising awareness among all stakeholders that violence against women is a public issue and of national concern. It supports the government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of violence against women. 

Abderson Antao, RCBW-ARMM planning chief, said part of the campaign is pushing for the institutionalization of the Gender and Development focal point system in each agency in the region. Such system, he said, is the mechanism to implement and mainstream Gender and Development in the offices.

“Gender and Development is very important. If implemented thoroughly, it will protect and promote the welfare of women. Both men and women have a role in social development and in peace building especially in conflict-affected areas like the ARMM,” said Antao.

Antao said they are urging all agencies to have an established Gender and Development focal point system. Currently, only the region’s Education department, Department of Agrarian Reform, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources are the only agencies with an established focal point system.

Simultaneously, the region launched the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ARMM Gender and Development Code. The code is the regional translation of Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta for Women and was signed into law on May 20, 2013.

“ARMM is demographically and culturally distinct. The code is an instrument in addressing gender issues and advancing the status of women in the region,” said Antao. This year’s campaign bears the theme “End VAW Now! It’s our duty! Gains and ways forward.” (BPI/PIA-10)

Guv supports MILF’s anti-drug campaign

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 26 (PIA) --- To support the intensified anti-drug campaign of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Lanao del Sur, the provincial governor ordered the display of tarpaulins saying “no to illegal drugs which are considered haram or forbidden” in conspicuous areas in Marawi City and some municipalities.

The tarpaulins also contain the MILF resolution, attested by Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, which states the banning of the “use and sale of shabu or methamphetamine in the Bangsamoro and neighbouring areas.”

The resolution further says, “the MILF shall take appropriate action to any person, Bangsamoro or non-Bangsamoro, found guilty of using shabu and those found beyond reasonable doubt of drug-pushing or being engaged in the sale and proliferation of shabu.”

The resolution was made by the MILF Central Committee adopted during its special session at Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on October 21, 2015.

“Illegal drugs and substances should be banned from any place because they destroy a community,” said Provincial Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong Jr. Adiong.

He said illegal drugs are the cause of majority of the crimes committed in the country.

“It is our duty to support anti-drug campaigns of the government, individuals, and organizations, and to also ensure that the law of this nation is first and foremost upheld,” he added. (PIO-Lanao del Sur/PIA-10)

Monday, November 23, 2015

RPMA-ARMM upgrades facilities, services in ports

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 23 (PIA) -- To ensure safety and convenience of its clientele, the Regional Ports and Management Authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RPMA-ARMM) continuously upgrades the facilities and services of ports in the region.

Ersan Warad, the regional ports authority’s general manager, said the agency recently signed a memorandum with ports officials and ARMM’s Tourism department to establish Port Tourism Information Assistance Center to strengthen the tourism industry in the region.

“Our client is our people and we want to compensate the fees our clients pay by providing them quality basic services and standardized ports. This is in adherence to the Reform Agenda of the ARMM Regional Governor, Hon. Mujiv S. Hataman,” Warad said.

During the celebration of the regional ports authority’s 18th anniversary on Sunday, November 22, Warad also said they will initiate site improvement and launch a beautification drive and make the ports environment-friendly. The regional ports authority’s official distributed closed-circuit television system to base ports in Lamitan, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan.

In November 2014, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the RPMA-ARMM, Office for Transportation Security, and the Department of Transportation and Communications.

The agreement strengthens the commitment of the regional ports authority in compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), including the National Security Program for Sea Port Transportation and Maritime Infrastructure to ensure the preparation of Port Facility Security Plan in each port within RPMA’s jurisdiction.

The ISPS Code is a new “mandate imposed by the IMO to its member-countries on the holistic security control of passengers, ships, cargoes and port facilities against international terrorist activities.”

As of November 2015, the RPMA-ARMM exceeded its P12-million target revenue collection, as it generated P15-million total collection from its seaport operations.

RPMA-ARMM operates the base ports in Jolo in Sulu; Bongao in Tawi-Tawi; and Lamitan City in Basilan; as well as the sub-ports of Siasi in Sulu; Maluso in Basilan; and Mapun, Sitangkai and Sibutu in Tawi-Tawi. It also exercises regulatory powers in six private ports/wharves operating in the region. (BPI/PIA-10)

300 farmer-beneficiaries in ARMM receive land ownership title

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 23 – Almost 300 farmer-beneficiaries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) received their Certificate of Land Ownership (CLO) on November 19.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and Amihilda Sangcopan, secretary of the region’s Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-ARMM), personally awarded the CLO to 70 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) from Basilan and 221 ARBs from Maguindanao. The awarding was held during the opening ceremony of this year’s ARMM anniversary in Cotabato City.

The distributed CLO covers a total of 711 hectares of landholdings in the region wherein 154.5 hectares are in Basilan while 556.5 are in Maguindanao.

Secretary Sangcopan said there are still 967 pending CLOs in the regional DAR office that covers more than 2,000 hectares of landholdings in the provinces of Sulu, Basilan, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. Four hundred eighty one of these are already for transmittal to the office of the regional governor.

She said the landholdings awarded are part of the agency’s distribution target this year. “We are working to distribute 20,000 hectares of landholdings this 2015. We are assured of approved survey plans before the end of the year,” she added.
Datu Jan Utto, 35, CLO beneficiary from Datu Saudi in Maguindanao expressed his gratitude to the Autonomous Regional Government noting the land awarded to him will help enhance his family’s livelihood and boost crop production.
“Nagsasaka na ako simula bata at matagal na namin itong hinihintay. Maraming salamat sa ARMM government (I am a farmer since childhood and we have waited this for so long. We are thankful to the ARMM government),” said Datu Jan.
The CLO is a proof that a farmer-beneficiary has the right of land ownership. Land covered by DAR’s CLO cannot be sold, transferred or donated within 10 years upon awarding, except through hereditary succession, or if sold back to the state or to another qualified beneficiary within the 10-year period. (BPI/PIA-10)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

ARMM passes law creating the Regional Darul Ifta

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Nov. 13 (PIA) ---  Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor has approved a legislation that establishes a regional religious authority in the ARMM to help address contemporary issues and challenges faced by Filipino Muslims.

Governor Mujiv Hataman signed into law Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act (MMA) No. 323 or An Act Creating the Regional Darul Ifta’of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The law institutionalizes the Darul Ifta or the Islamic advisory council in the region.

ARMM’s Regional Legislative Assembly House Speaker Datu Roonie Sinsuat, members of the region's legislative assembly and some religious leaders (muftun) from different provinces of the region attended the signing.

The RDI shall be primarily responsible for the promulgation and issuance of legal opinions (fatwa) pertaining to Muslim personal laws and jurisprudence pursuant to Article VIII, Section 20 of Republic Act 9054 or the act strengthening and expanding the organic act for the ARMM.

They will also advise and serve as consultant to the regional government of the ARMM and the RLA on matters pertaining to Islamic laws, jurisprudence and ecclesiastical matters and serve as the “religious guide” of ARMM leaders, bureaucrats and professionals, including those in the local government units.

Governor Hataman said they have earmarked P5-million for the initial operation of the RDI from the unexpended fund of the Office of the Regional Treasury (ORT) and its succeeding annual budget will be provided for in the Local Appropriations Act.

He reiterated that the creation of the RDI will help unite all the Bangsamoro in the region and will boost good governance in the region.

For his part, Speaker Sinsuat said, “This office will recognize rights and well-being of the Bangsamoro due regard to their beliefs, customs, traditions and institutions, and further ensures their contribution to the regional government’s goals and aspirations.”

The MMA 323 also calls for the establishment of RDI provincial offices in each of the five component provinces of the ARMM. The provincial office shall be headed by a Provincial Mufti who shall be selected from among the resident Ulama in the particular province.

Dr. Aboulkhair Tarason, regional grand mufti, said they will work, collaborate and cooperate with the international, national, regional and local bodies on matters of mutual interest and benefit, such as halal businesses, marriages, hajj (pilgrimage), professional engagement, intellectual exchange and academic discourses. (BPI/PIA-10)