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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ARMM holds 1st Successful Cooperatives Congress

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 26 (PIA) --- The Cooperative Development Authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CDA-ARMM) launched on May 25, the 1st ARMM Successful Cooperatives Congress to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives in the region.

Dimnatang Radia, CDA-ARMM administrator, said successful cooperatives presented their best practices – specifically new management techniques, good governance and entrepreneurial activities – to newly established cooperatives.

“The 1st ARMM Successful Cooperatives Congress formed part of the benchmarking program of the CDA-ARMM to enable small and micro cooperatives to be inspired by the best practices of the successful ones,” Radia said, noting that many cooperatives in the region have struggled to uplift their members’ economic status.

“With their unyielding conviction, hard work, and determination, some of these cooperatives surpassed their goals and have become millionaires,” he said.

The CDA-ARMM has registered around 4,600 cooperatives from 2010-2014, the highest number among regions in the country.

Orlando Ravanera, CDA national chairman, said the cooperatives are the way to end poverty. “With the promotion of cooperatives as instruments for equity, social justice, and economic development, we can end poverty that besets the region,” Ravanera said.

Data show more than 12,000 cooperatives are registered in Mindanao with P150 billion worth of assets. 

During the two-day event, partners of the cooperative movement at the local, national and international levels also shared their respective programs, projects and services that the region’s cooperatives may avail of.

These partners included international agencies such as the World Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as well as national partners led by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

The congress also served as a venue to showcase the services and goods of ARMM’s successful cooperatives.

About 200 participants from the five provinces of the region – Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi – participated in the two-day activity. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)

ARMM seaports hits P5.5 million in revenue in first semester

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 26 (PIA) --- A record-high of P5.5 million in total revenue collection was reported by the Regional Ports and Management Authority of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RPMA-ARMM) for the first half of the year, higher by 12 percent over last year’s P4.9 million revenues from port operations.

RPMA-ARMM General Manager Hanie Bud said the region’s total port revenue collection last year was tracked at P12 million, the highest since 2010. 

Revenue remittances of RPMA-ARMM started to increase significantly in 2013 and based on the present trend of collections, we are confident that we will exceed the P12 million target for this year, he said.

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

The Port Management Office of Jolo is the region’s primary port.

Despite a budget of only P120,000 monthly operating and other expenses, the PMO implemented three port improvement projects last year. 

This included steel fencing of the right wing of the port (P44,308), renovation of collection booth number 2 at Serantes Street (P6,174), and repair of the administrative building gate (P5,241).

PMO Jolo also procured chairs, ceiling fans, furniture and equipment, supplies and uniforms, and spent for utilities that cost P66,930.

“The port’s physical improvements are aimed at improving better port services and security,” said Ibnohasim Undug, port manager of PMO Jolo. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)

New ARMM education secretary assumes office, vows to secure reforms

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 26 (PIA) --- Dr. John Magno has formally assumed as the new Education Secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on May 25, following his appointment by Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman. 

Magno, who previously served as assistant secretary for operation of the region’s Department of Education (DepEd), vowed to continue the reforms that have been introduced by the present ARMM administration in the department.

A status message he posted on his social media account after words of his appointment came out, reads: “No profession can be nobler than that of teaching. The humble teacher may be forgotten in time but never in the legacy he leaves: the formation of professionals who shape the nation and chart the future of the many generations to come.”

Magno replaced lawyer Jamar Kulayan, who has formally resigned as ARMM Education Secretary on 22 May, ending a three-year tenure marked by administrative and financial reforms in the once problematic agency.

In a published statement, Kulayan said his resignation was a well thought-out decision based on his desire to be with his family whom he had spent very limited quality time with since he dedicated to serve along with Gov. Hataman.

Kulayan played a key role in the crackdown of the Hataman administration against all sorts of “ghosts” in the agency – students, teachers and schools.

He has also helped championed the restoration of the rights and benefits of around 26,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel of DepEd-ARMM from the state-pension fund GSIS through a tripartite agreement that established the settling of close to P1 billion unpaid premiums.

Kulayan described his time in office as “filled with lessons shared and learned and encouraging stories of people whose lives changed for the better.”

He said he is not abandoning public service and vowed to continue serving the people of ARMM and supporting Hataman in his personal capacity.”

Gov. Hataman has also appointed Sittie Mariam Ibrahim Balahim as the new Assistant Secretary for Operation and Marjuni Maddi as Assistant Secretary for Academics. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)

Monday, May 25, 2015

No tuition fee increase in colleges and universities in ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 25 (PIA) --- There will be no tuition fee increase this coming school year in private colleges and universities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“Academic institutions in the ARMM preferred not to increase their tuition fees because they want the parents in our region to send their children to college,” said Commission on Higher Education (CHED) ARMM Commissioner Amor Pendaliday.

He said that with no tuition fee hike in ARMM, more enrollees are expected this year.

On May 19, 2015, applications for tuition and other fees increase by 313 higher educational institutions in the country were approved by CHED national. In a statement released by the commission, an average increase of 6.17 percent, or the equivalent of P29.86 per unit, was approved on tuition fee adjustment, while for other school fees, the increase is 6.55 percent, or an equivalent of P135.60.

These figures are down from last year’s P35.66, or 8.13 percent for tuition, and P141.55, or 7.97%, for other school fees.

“We are glad that we don't have a tuition fee increase, it is good news for us, especially to our parents, ” said 17 year-old Sittie Aisha Tawal, a second year college student of Mindanao State University-Dalican in Maguindanao.

As of date, the region has 66 higher education institutions, 51 private and 15 government-run.

On the latest list of the online directory of colleges and universities in the Philippines (, the Mindanao State University campuses in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Marawi are among the 50 most affordable institutions in the country for 2015. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)

ARMM farmers, fishermen’s cooperatives receive assistance from DAF-ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 25 (PIA) --- The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAF-ARMM) distributed P1.8 million-worth of equipment and inputs to pre-identified farmers’ and fishermen’s cooperatives in Maguindanao on Friday, May 22.

Makmod Mending, DAF-ARMM’s agriculture and fisheries secretary, said the distribution is aimed at supporting the production of agricultural crops in the region, especially rice and corn.

“Malaking tulong ito sa ating mga magsasaka. Inaasahan natin na tataas ang production ng ating mga farmers sa ARMM dahil sa naipamigay nating mga farm machineries. (This would be of big help to our farmers. We expect their productivity to improve with these machineries),” Sec. Mending said.

The machineries include one unit corn mill, two units of hand tractor, a thresher, a seed cleaner, five units of floating tiller and 18 units of rice cutter. Thirty one cooperatives received the machineries amounting to P1, 835, 974.

The department also distributed hybrid palay seeds with fertilizers and pesticides to 2,461 farmers while 25 fisheries cooperatives received 1,500 kilograms of seaweed implements each.

Apart from these, a Community Trading Post, which will serve as a community-based food depot and distribution system, was provided for use of 13 cooperatives with assistance from the ARMM’s Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan project.
Sec. Mending said the trading post is aimed at making “available and accessible quality products such as fresh agri-fishery at low prices to the marginalized sector of the community.”

The trading post, Sec. Mending added, “can empower the community by creating employment opportunities through establishment of small food packaging and food processing center.” The trading post includes a generator set, a freezer, a cooler and other materials needed in the business operations.

The distribution was part of the department’s celebration of the 2015 Farmers and Fisherfolks Month and 24th Devolution Anniversary. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)