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10th Kawiyagan Brings more Agriculture, Livelihood Opportunities

July 3, 2019

True to their commitment to help the Marawi residents rise again from an unprecedented economic dislocation wrought by the five-month war between the Maute-IS linked terror group and government troops in 2017, the member-agencies of the Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and partner organizations turned up for the tenth “Kawiyagan” (livelihood) activity held at the city hall grounds in Marawi City.   Farmers, sari-sari store operators, garment makers, and food vendors got livelihood assistance from both government and non-government organizations.   The Department of Agriculture (DA) distributed garden tools, potato cuttings and vegetable seeds to the farmers while the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) also distributed 20 packs of vegetable seeds during the June 27, 2019 “Kawiyagan.”   The World Food Programme (WFP), on the other hand, has distributed its second tranche of P2,000 each to some 10,000 farmer-beneficiaries under its cash-based transfer program, which was complemented with the farm inputs from DA, DAF, and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – Lanao del Sur.     Alanodin Taha  and Normina Dardagan, both from Barangay Dayawan thanked for the farm inputs they received from DA.   “Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila dahil malaking tulong ito sa amin (I thanked them because this is a big help for us),” Dardagan said.   Meanwhile Taha shared that the support gave them hope to start again.   “Kahit papaano, nawala ang problema namin.  masaya kami (Somehow, their support helped us to forget our problems. We are happy),” he said.    The following is the distribution list for the 10th Kawiyagan:   AGENCY ASSISTANCE Department of Agriculture   (For displaced farmers in Marawi City, Butig and Piagapo) Farm and Garden Tools Sets: Pick Mattock               (555 pcs) Weeding Bolo             (250 pcs) Knapsack Sprayer      ( 500 units) Shovel                         (400 pcs) Sprinkler                      (417 units)   70,000 potato cuttings 150 bags of inbred rice seeds 170 packs of vegetable seeds Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 20 packs of vegetable seeds Community and Family Services International (Distribution of Certificate of Award)  3 Sidecars, 4 refrigerators with grocery items 1-sewing machine and  2 cows  For Product Display: (6 Beneficiaries) Basket Making & Fresh Vegetables Vending RTW Bukobar Vending Food Vending World Food Programme P2,000 cash payout for 10,000 farmer beneficiaries Department of Trade and Industry School supplies for sari-sari store starter kits recipients Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Enrolment for skills training Free services on manicure, pedicure, haircut         The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) also conducted enrolment for skills training on masonry,  carpentry, electrical installation and maintenance NC II, tile setting, shielded metal arc, and welding. The agency also offered free services on manicure, pedicure, and haircut.   Meanwhile, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has distributed school supplies to the previous recipients of sari-sari store kits. Various livelihood kits were also distributed by the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), a non-government organization.   Omaimah Macapaar from Barangay Papandayan shared that she received assistance from CFSI and continued sewing long dresses and prayer veils. Months after she was able to buy two additional sewing machines.   “Nakatulong ang livelihood assistance ng CFSI dahil nakaipon ang pambili ng dalawang sewing machine (The livelihood assistance given by CFSI helped me a lot because I was able to buy 2 additional sewing machines),” she said.    Launched on August 24, 2018, the Kawiyagan is a monthly distribution of livelihood assistance spearheaded by TFBM for the IDPs of Marawi.

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BARMM Inks Agreement with Save the Children PH

July 3, 2019

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) together with the Save the Children Philippines (SCP) and the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS)  entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to advance children's rights in the region.   The agreement was inked  July 1 in Cotabato City.   The Ministry on Social Services (MSS), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), and Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHT) are among the local partners of the said organization that support and promote the rights of children, particularly in Mindanao.   Fanny Divino, SCP senior program manager for Mindanao, said the MOA pertains to the conduct of a contextualized Child Rights Situational Analysis (CRSA) in selected BARMM areas to ensure that every need of every last child in the region is effectively and meaningfully provided by the duty-bearers, through an evidence-based and participatory approach.   The agreement took effect July 1 and shall remain in full effect until December 31, 2019. Its duration may be extended for any duration upon mutual written agreement of all parties.    The Save the Children Philippines is an independent organization that aims to create better lives for children in the Philippines and across the world. 

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94 NPA supporters surrender to Army in Surigao Norte

July 2, 2019

A total of ninety four (94) NPA supporters from different barangays of Surigao del Norte, appeared before Lt. Col Allen Raymund C. Tomas, Commander of 30IB, with the intent to dissociate from the CPP-NPA terrorist group. 45 personalities out of the said 94 UGMO members came from Barangay Ima of Sison, which consists of Indigenous People’s (IPs) and farmers while other UGMO members were from barangay Togbongon of Surigao City, Barangay Tolingin of Mainit and Barangay Mayag of Sison. In his statement Lt. Col. Tomas said, "These people were used and exploited by the CNTs, cutting their ties will definitely degrade the NPAs capabilities and deter them from entering their guerilla base"   "While we continue the Community Support Program in CNT affected barangays, we are also expecting more UGMO members to surrender while our combat operations will be no let-up against the terrorists so that communities will be free from CNT threat and violent atrocities", Lt Col Tomas added UGMO is a group of people in a barangay organized by NPA to become their mass supporters, which vary from farmers sector or Pambangsang Katipunan ng Magsasaka, women's sector or Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan, youth sector or Samahan ng Kabataang Makabayan and IP sector or Rebolusyonaryong Organisasyong Lumad. They are the CNT's source of financial, material, and moral support to advance their armed struggle. On the other hand, Col Maurito L Licudine, Commander of the 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade said, “We are very happy that the NPA supporters heeded our call to withdraw their support to the CNTs and go back to the folds of the law because then we will be able to facilitate the delivery of basic services in order to achieve peace and development in our Area of Operations.” “We are positive that more NPA members and supporters will follow the lead of their comrades and will chose to live a better and peaceful life”, Licudine added It can be recalled that last June 26, 2019, CARAGA launched the Regional Task Force in Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) during the Joint Caraga Regional Development Council (RDC)-Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) Full Councils Meeting at Balanghai Hotel and Convention Center, Brgy Doongon, Butuan City. The launching was a milestone especially that the Task Force will lead, synchronize and harmonize government efforts of ending the local communist armed conflict in Region 13 through its banner program which is the Peace and Development Zone (PDZ) . Maj Gen Franco Nemesio M Gacal, Commander of the 4ID emphasized, “With the launching of RTF-ELCAC and the full implementation of the PDZ in CARAGA backed with the Community Support Program (CSP), I am positive that more NPA members and supporters will return to the folds of law. We assure the people that by supporting the government we will be able to bring in sustained delivery of basic services and social development packages in poor, conflict affected areas and geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.” “We are calling on to all the LGUs, LGAs, and stakeholders especially to the peace-loving people in CARAGA, let us continue to support the government and together we will attain lasting, inclusive and sustainable peace and development”, Gacal added

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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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