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Marawi, City of Inspiration not City of Tarpulin says Gordon

June 4, 2019

MARAWI CITY ----- Rather than calling Marawi City a Tarpulin Capital of the Philippines, Senator Richard Gordon said it is better to consider the predominant-Muslim city a City of Inspiration. In his visit here on Monday (June 3) as chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), Gordon said it is inspiring to be in Marawi seeing tarpulin hung all over the place congratulating those who passed board examinations or who have graduated from college.  "It is most inspiring when I see 'Congratulations for passing the board exam', 'Congratulations for passing the bar exam', 'congratulations for passing the PMA (Philippine Military Academy)'," Gordon said in his message to almost a hundred of PRC volunteers at the New Capitol Complex Conference Hall in Marawi City. Upon entering Marawi City, tarpulins of several sizes, bearing photos, names and courses or kinds of board exams, were seen hung, some are put up in woods, congratulating a family member. Many of these congratulatory tarps bear the family names of both parents and grand parents. Some of these tarps are paid by relatives who has the same family name of the one being congratulated. "It is a pride and honor of the family that's why we have to put all the family names of the family. If you miss one, they will get hurt," Jamalodin Basman, a Maranao registered nurse and a barangay kagawad in Marawi City said.

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ICRC builts water, sanitation facility in LDS

June 4, 2019

SAGUIARAN, LANAO DEL SUR ----- Around six thousand residents here could have an easy access of their water supply after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) formally turned over on Monday (June 3) the water and sanitation facility at the Bualan Spring in Barangay Bualan. The facility will help not only to the residents of Saguiaran but also of the internally displaced families who are living in the transitory shelter site in nearby Bahay Ng Pagbabago in Barangay Sagonsongan, Marawi City, some two kilometers away. Residents can use the facility in washing their clothes and in fetching water without dealing anymore the thick muds since it was cemented all over. It also made the lives of the Meranaws easy for Wudhu rite (washing) when they entered the Mosque to perform their prayers since the facility is built just at the entrance of the Mosque. Wudhu is the ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer. Muslims believed they must be clean and wear good clothes before they present themselves before God.  The area was used to be a creek where residents have to look for their place to wash, either their clothes. "Mga 60 years na kaming nagtiis na sobrang putik ang area, tapos mag aaway away pa ang iba kasi nag-aagawan sa area. Sobrang malaking tulong ito sa amin," said Zenaida Macatanong, 60-year old resident of Bualan, whose husband, a senior citizen who can only move through a wheelchair, prays at the Mosque regularly. Macatanong revealed that the Bualan Spring can sustain evenTh f dry season could last until a year. "More than 60 years old na ako pero never pa namin na-experience na nawalan ng tubig yang spring na yan," she added. Engineer Julficar Pangato, project monitoring engineer of the ICRC, the 4-million peso worth project can serve up to 11,000 people if Marawi City and the neighboring towns of Lanao del Sur would experience power interruption. "Kasi maraming mga residente sa Marawi at ibang area sa Lanao (del) Sur ang dependent sa electric water pump kaya kung wala silang kuryente, dito sila pumupunta para mag-igib," Pangato said in an interview. The turn-over of the facility was led by ICRC President Peter Maurer who came to the Philippines for the second time after the Yolanda tragedy in Tacloban. "President (Peter) Maurer visits Marawi City to have a humanitarian dialogue with the local government officials and the locals, including the internally displaced persons to know the needs, two years after the siege, and bring it to the forefront and invite donors for help," said Lany dela Cruz, Senior Communications Officer of the ICRC. Two years since the siege started, 1,100 evacuees and residents of Lanao del Sur received potable water through water-treatment facilities in two hospitals while 7,500 people from Marawi were aided with continuous running of water system through ICRC support to the Marawi City Water District. In cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the ICRC supported 4,500 people in Saguiaran with water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities. More than 300 PRC volunteers were mobilized to support ICRC activities in Lanao del Sur. PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said the ICRC and the PRC will continue to help and when he and Maurer will go to Davao today to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte, he will ask the president to fast track the rehabilitation of Marawi. "We went through a very deadly experience here in Marawi and since day 1, we were already working on the streets to give the evacuees blood pressure, water, food and psychosocial support. We will continue to help," Gordon said in his message with the volunteers who met Maurer and his party.

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DOST gears up for Marawi IDPs’ livelihood programs

June 3, 2019

MARAWI CITY, June 3 (PIA ICCC) -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has intensified its efforts in providing livelihood programs for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of this city. Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, undersecretary for Research and Development said during the project launching of Livelihood Program for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Marawi by DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) that the agency would provide them support until they can recover. “Hangga't hindi sila nakakabangon, tutulong kami (Until they can recover, we will help them),” Guevara said. Guevara also emphasized that the agency has been providing a series of training and hands-on programs to the IDPs through its different offices. DOST-ITDI has been providing technologies and training on personal care products, charcoal briquetting, herbal processing and essential oil extraction aimed at improving the quality of life of the IDPs by utilizing indigenous resources for their sustainable livelihood. In partnership with the SMILES Foundation, the DOST also supported the IDPs in Butig with a corn mill facility. The Bayabao Poblacion Farmers Cooperative here has already harvested 2,400 kilos from its 40-hectare corn plantation, earning P26,400 per cycle. Other projects implemented by the SMILES-DOST partnership include “Do-It-Yourself (DIY)” bamboo shelter production for Butig, Lanao del Sur and Innovation Support System and Management Strategies to Vegetable Production to Farmers in Pantar, Lanao del Norte. DOST has also partnered with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) to revive the handloom weaving industry in Marawi through the Maranao Collectible, a group of internally displaced women and men who create heirloom “langkit” weaving. The DOST will provide training and necessary materials and handlooms.  “We are thankful to DOST, because the funding for the loans will provide more opportunities for Maranao weavers,” said Prof. Darwin Manubag of MSU-IIT.  The DOST provides the technology while its partner organizations assist in the implementation of the projects to the grassroots. Being a member-agency of the Task Force Bangon Marawi’s  (TFBm) Subcommittee on Business and Livelihood, DOST commits itself to provide sustainable livelihood to the IDPs. (LEAntonio/PIA)  

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UN-FAO conducts end project performance assessment workshop

June 2, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur,  - The UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR-BARMM) conducted an end project performance assessment (EPPA) on May 28, 2019 for the project “Emergency Assistance to Restore Food Security in Typhoon-Affected Communities in Lanao del Sur - BARMM and Lanao del Norte -Region X.” The EPPA seeks to evaluate the quality of FAO’s response with implementation partners through agreed criteria, document good practices, consolidate the lessons learned as well as issues and challenges from the various phases of project implementation, and formulate practical suggestions for the improvement of future emergency interventions.  Twenty-four (24) Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) from the municipalities of Madalum, Ditsaan Ramain, Maguing, Buadipuso Buntong and Lumbabayabao where the project was implemented participated in the workshop. The project aims to restore agri-livelihood and enhance agricultural production in the Typhoon Tembin (Vinta) hard-hit municipalities of the province. The project has two components: provision of agricultural inputs, and capacity-building activities.  One thousand (1,000) rice farmers benefited from the project and received one bag of certified rice seeds and two bags of commercial fertilizer.  For the capacity-building activities, UN-FAO conducted the training on resilient rice-based farming systems to AEWsthat were re-echoed to farmer-beneficiaries, Climate-Smart Farmers Field School (CS-FFS), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Training Workshop, and Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) and Social Protection Planning Workshop. All these were meant to enhance farmers' resilience to various types of disasters. MAFAR Provincial Agricultural Officer – Pangalian A. Balindong, Jr. expressed gratitude to UN-FAO for being a constant and long term development partner of the MAFAR. He also acknowledged the countless provisions extended to the farmers of the province.  In the same way, Director Esmail Satol from MAFAR–BARMM Regional Office commended the participants and thanked UN-FAO for filling in the gaps in the delivery of agri-interventions to farmers. (MAFAR Lanao del Sur)  

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PBSP supports TB control in BARMM

June 2, 2019

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur,  - The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and the Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) reaffirmed its partnership to strengthen the implementation of the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP).  PBSP and MOH-BARMM recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that enables them to continue to work together to support the Department of Health (DOH- NTP) in the execution of the Philippine Strategic TB Elimination Plan. PBSP has been supporting the MOH-BARMM through the provision of laboratory supplies and equipment, the hiring and deployment of competent medical and non-medical staff; and the conduct of regular monitoring and random on-site verification and validation of both programmatic and financial reports. The organization also provides technical and funding support in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB (PMDT), TB-HIV and TB Community TB Care and Prevention (TBCP) activities, and gives feedback and recommendations based on the results of these activities. The MOH-BARMM, on the other hand, performs services as a Regional NTP Manager, a PMDT Treatment Facility, an Xpert Site, a TB Culture Center, an HIV Treatment Hub, and an Administrative and Finance Overseer. It also ensures the continuous implementation of the TB Program and safeguards all equipment, fixed assets, office supplies, medical supplies, and other properties of the Program. BARMM Minister of Health Dr. Saffrullah M. Dipatuan lauded the partnership, which he believes signifies renewed action to fight the challenges.  He also reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to addressing the TB problem in the entire region.  “We cannot just sleep at night comfortably or sit in our offices knowing that hundreds and even thousands of people are getting ill, or worse, dying with this condition,” Dipatuan said. In 2018, there were over 170 notified TB cases and more than 100 MDR-TB cases in the BARMM. The challenges in the implementation of the TB program include low case detection, increasing rate of lost to follow-up cases, and the low utilization of GeneXpert machines.  MOH-BARMM’s Technical Division Chief Dr. Sadaila K. Raki-in expressed gratitude to PBSP for the partnership which helps contribute to the country’s overall goal to end TB.  “PBSP through the years have helped us and never abandoned the MOH-BARMM. PBSP has been with us in supporting the TB Program even before 2015…Our focus is to end TB and there will be a time that TB will only be part of history. We must be thankful that we have been part of the legacy to end TB,”  Raki-in said.   Meanwhile, PBSP Executive Director Reynaldo Antonio D. Laguda recognized the efforts of the healthcare providers in the implementation of the TB control program.  “Our work in TB control began in 2015. And in the last four years, despite it being challenging, we are also happy to say that the people under Dr. Ampatuan have really been trying to beat the odds in the BARMM. The challenge for us is the way we expand the work we do,” he said.   TB Control is one just of the many initiatives of PBSP in the BARMM. Among its other projects include the conduct of Safe Motherhood Caravans to teach women of reproductive age life-saving maternal and child health information, as well as the Creating Spaces Project with Oxfam Canada, which helps change attitude, behavior and systems to reduce violence against women and girls, including children, early and forced marriages. (PBSP)

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DOH-10’s Iligan OpCen to transfer to Marawi

May 31, 2019

MARAWI CITY, -The health response for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected by the siege is one of the top priorities of the Task Force Bangon Marawi’s (TFBM) Subcommittee on Health and Social Welfare.  To better provide medical assistance directly to the IDPs, the Department of Health (DOH)-10 decided to transfer its Iligan operation center (OpCen) to Marawi City to effectively cater to the IDPs from the 96 barangays affected by the five-month conflict two years ago. “Our operation center will be transferred at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center by June to better serve the Marawi IDPs,” said Dr. David Mendoza, OpCen head of DOH-10. Mendoza ensured the continuity of quad-cluster approach activities in all the transitory sites within the city and the remaining evacuation centers.  “We will serve the IDPs with no gaps and we’re trying our best to serve better the Maranaos,” Mendoza added. DOH will pursue health services and stress debriefing interventions for IDPs amidst the ongoing physical rehabilitation of Marawi City. Meanwhile, Mendoza disclosed that the DOH is closely monitoring upper respiratory tract infections among the IDPs because of the changing weather.  DOH is also readying the IDPs against water-borne diseases with the onset of the rainy season. “The team is now trying to coordinate with the local government unit, with the Marawi City Health Office, and the IPHO Lanao del Sur to monitor the outbreak of any diseases at the transitory sites and the remaining evacuation centers,” Mendoza stated.  The DOH-10 OpCen will also be transferring its whole team composed of 10 nurses, one pharmacist and three doctors to provide medical services to Marawi IDPs. However, only one of the three doctors is available to serve during the transfer. “We are still looking for doctors who are willing to serve there,” shared Mendoza. The head of the health cluster urges the IDPs to cooperate in maintaining sanitation within their communities and in the transitory sites saying, “they can help us by disposing of their own garbage properly, beware of safe water intake, and the most important thing is when they feel something [wrong], please seek early consultation at the city health office.” The DOH continues to conduct mental, psychological, and psychosocial support, nutrition assessment and distribution of vitamin supplements to the victims of Marawi siege. (LJKabagani/PIA ICCC)

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