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Cotabato Guv Vows to Improve Health Services

July 2, 2019

Newly elected Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco vowed to improve health services for her constituents after visiting the Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Barangay Amas here on Monday and finding it in a sorry state.   Catamco noted that the hospital was declared as a 150-bed capacity medical facility five years ago. But now, it can attend to only 50 patients. The governor visited the hospital after leading the convocation and flag ceremony at the capitol’s gymnasium on her first day of office.   She was told funding for the operation was one of the challenges.  "I just don't rely on reports. Visits like this will be a regular activity in my administration as this will make me understand the issues faced by my constituents so I could find ways to help resolve them," she said in Cebuano. Catamco said upgrading the province's eight district hospitals, including the provincial hospital, and improving the basic health services are part of her development roadmap.. "The people of Cotabato deserve better services," she stressed. 

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OCD Extends Cash Assistance to Relatives of Marawi Siege Casualties

July 1, 2019

OCD-BARMM together with Marawi City Social Welfare and Development has apprised the relatives of these casualties including hostage survivors on the requirements they need to comply to receive the financial assistance from the government.  Aside from the Marawi residents who died, OCD will also provide financial assistance to the families of missing persons a year after the siege. Gicele Gonzales, section chief of OCD-BARMM’s Marawi Recovery and Rehabilitation said the agency provides financial assistance amounting to P10,000 for the relatives of those siege casualties from hospitals, evacuation centers, and even in the battle area.  "So long as they could show proofs and submit the required documents, they can receive the cash assistance," Gonzales said. She added that the financial assistance comes from the P36.91 million donated funds, which will be given to the beneficiaries of the dead victims. OCD would also provide each beneficiary with a family box containing non-food items.  Since 2017, OCD-BARMM in close coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Marawi has been scouting and locating all the relatives of those siege casualties. 

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Profiling of Marawi IDPs ends

July 1, 2019

Felix Castro, Task Force Bangon Marawi field office manager said they are now preparing for the next phase of the Kathanor program which is designed for those who rented spaces in Marawi before the the siege two years ago that destroyed the city’s commercial area. “We are tentatively setting the next phase in the middle of July as soon as we are ready,” Castro told MindaNews. People still jam-packed the registration centers at the Marawi Resort hotel (formerly known as Ayala Resort Hotel) on the last day of the registration. Castro estimated at more than 2,000 the people who came in to register last Friday. “I do not understand why there are still people coming when the registration started last November,” he said. The profiling of IDPs was suspended last May 22 after it was found out that an unusually large number of people were able to register. Castro said it turned out that many of them were “fake IDPs” who were able to get spurious public documents to back their claims. He said Kathanor was supposed to have ended in March, and the May 20 to 31 schedule was supposedly only for those with grievances or complaints or those who were unable to meet the schedules for their barangays. Instead, Castro said they were “mobbed” by the fake IDPs. He said the problem on fake IDPs surfaced during the May 20 to 31 schedule after the Department of Social Welfare and Development released P73,000 “pabaon” cash assistance for those who were already registered under the Kathanor program. Under the DSWD cash assistance program, P20,000 worth of financial assistance was given to IDPs to start their own business and a lump sum of P53,000 as transitory family support package. Aside from the financial assistance, the DSWD also gave another “pabaon” package consisting of canned goods and other food items. “This attracted the people to register,” Castro said. He said there was no problem in the profiling process from October 2018 to March 2019. He said as of May 20, a total of 44,497 households of IDPs inside and outside the Main Affected Area had been profiled or registered in the Kathanor program since October 7 last year.

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BARMM trains new LCEs on governance

July 1, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur - The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao - Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (BARMM-MILG) conducted a two-day training for newly-elected Local Chief Executives (LCE) in the region on June 16-17, 2019.      With the theme “Creating Synergy in the Bangsamoro Towards Moral Governance,” the activity was aimed to train new LCEs on the basics of local governance and administration.       During the training, the participants were oriented about the Islamic perspective on leadership and management, salient features of the Bangsamoro Organic Law on local governance, and deconstruction of the poverty incidence in the BARMM.      Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, MILG Minister, said the training was intended to orient the newly elected LCEs on the basics of governance, the laws or ordinances they need to enact, special bodies to organize, and steps to take before actually assuming the post on June 30, 2019.      He added that the training has been given more significance as the new autonomous Bangsamoro region has just been established, and its officials has just assumed their respective posts.      Interim Chief Minister Ahod AlHaj Murad Ebrahim stressed during the opening ceremony that having a discourse with the Local Government Units (LGUs) is very significant as they are the most important partners of the BARMM in achieving the aspirations of the Bangsamoro.      “It is very important that we have a talk like this, in order to understand everybody and in order to have one common line. This is only the first time but rest assured that we will be talking more in order to work out very strong cooperation and partnership with the LGUs,” Ebrahim said.      At the end of the training, the LCEs took their oath and sworn to perform their duties and responsibilities with utmost dedication and integrity. They committed to strongly fight the proliferation and use of illegal drugs and other evils of society.      The LCEs, together with Ebrahim and other ministers of BARMM, also signed a pledge of commitment in pursuing moral governance in the region. (Bangsamoro Government/PIA-10)

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BARMM Education Minister Revokes Past Designation Orders

June 28, 2019

“That is in preparation that eventually the structure of BARMM in governance would be ministerial in nature in character. We want to streamline, we want to rationalize. The bureaucracy is so bloated,” BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal said. Memorandum Number 12 released on June 25 is part of the reform efforts done by the new Bangsamoro government “to ensure effective organizational change and restructuring of the offices.” The memo covers undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, bureau directors, schools division superintendents and other lower officials. Among the issues hounding the abolished ARMM are allegations of “ghost” teachers and students. In one of his State of the Nation Addresses former president Benigno S. Aquino III called the ARMM a “failed experiment” owing to the alleged prevalence of graft in the regional bureaucracy. 

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Support pours in for burned school in Maguindanao

June 27, 2019

Mohagher Iqbal, minister of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao led the special Brigada Eskwela at Pageda Elementary School on Monday, 24 June 2019. Hundreds participated in the Brigada Eskwela including – for the first time – uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. Iqbal handed over temporary learning spaces (TLS), 12 blackboards, handwashing facilities, and hygiene kits to the school during the activity. He also distributed learning materials, school bags, and educational toys to schoolchildren. For its part, the local government of Talitay delivered some construction materials and provided manpower with the help of the Schools Division of Maguindanao 2 and community members. “I would like to assure our parents here that their children will not be left behind,” Iqbal said, adding the education of their children must continue. Iqbal also thanked UNICEF Philippines, Save the Children Philippines, and the Australian Government through its Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao Program for providing assistance. He said the Kadtuntaya Foundation, a local non-government organization based in Cotabato City will provide psychosocial services for the schoolchildren. While the fire incident is still under police investigation, Iqbal reminded the community that a school is a zone of peace. “As a community, one of our priorities should be to establish a safe and nurturing learning environment for our children,” he said.

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