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COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Lanao del Sur

September 21, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Sep. 16 (PIA) - The number of confirmed cases for the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to rise in Lanao del Sur province. As of September 15, the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) reported a total of 441 confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Of this number, 15% or 65 are active cases.  IPHO Chief Dr. Alinader Minalang said 39 of the 65 cases are in Marawi City distributed in 17 barangays.  "The other 26 cases are from the different municipalities of Lanao del Sur with Malabang having the highest number of positive cases followed by Ditsaan Ramain and Marantao," he added. 24 of the active cases are asymptomatic, 38 are with mild symptoms, one moderate, one severe, and one critical. Recoveries, on the other hand, are reported at 355 or 80% of the confirmed cases. But the number of deaths also increased to 21 bringing the case fatality rate to 5%.  With this, Minalang appealed to every resident of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City to help and contribute in controlling the spread of COVID-19 by observing the minimum health standards like wearing of face mask and face shield, frequent handwashing, social distancing, proper cough etiquette, avoiding mass gatherings and staying at home as much as possible.  These simple doable measures, he said, are important mechanisms to prevent further transmission and spread of the virus.  He also encouraged those with close contact to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases to isolate and inform health authorities at their respective barangay, municipal or city levels.  "While those having symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty of breathing are encouraged to contact any health worker or just dial our health hotlines for appropriate advice and referral," he further said. The IPHO chief also reminded residents not to hide their health condition or worry about being mislabelled as COVID-19 case. "By not informing the health authorities, you are putting your family and the general population at risk of unknowingly getting the virus," he added. According to Minalang, honesty is important in the fight against COVID-19. "Only when we all cooperate, work as one, fight as one can we confidently surpass this pandemic," said Minalang. (APB/PIA-ICIC)

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PSA-BARMM to start 2020 census on Sept 1

September 7, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA)–The Philippine Statistics Authority of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PSA-BARMM) will conduct the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) for the whole month of September 2020. This was announced by PSA-BARMM Regional Director Razulden Mangelen in a virtual press briefing held Friday.  According to him, they have assigned around 5,000 enumerators to conduct the census in the entire Bangsamoro region. The enumerators will be equipped with personal protective equipment and will strictly follow the minimum health standards while conducting a house-to-house survey. BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim encouraged the region’s constituents to cooperate and support the 2020 CPH by answering accurate information. He said it will be vital in the development of policies and programs for the Bangsamoro. “Mas makikita natin ang tunay na hitsura ng ating rehiyon at mas (matutugunan) pa natin ang mga pangangailangan nito,” Ebrahim said. Mangelen echoed Ebrahim’s sentiments and called for the public’s understanding in conducting the census amid the pandemic. “Mangyari po sana ay maglaan po tayo ng kaunting panahon para sagutin ang kanilang (enumerators) mga tanong,” he said. “Layunin nitong makakuha ng tamang datos na siyang gagamitin ng ating pamahalaan, mapa lokal man, national o pribado, sa pagbabalangkas ng mga polisiya at programa para sa ating mga lugar,” Mangelen added. (BPI/PIA-ICIC)

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Beadweaving Maranao’s identity, livelihood opportunities

September 4, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Aug. 27 (PIA) -- Beadweaving has been known as the embodiment of the luxuriant culture of Maranao which carries vibrant stories of their identity.  Attaching seed beads or sequins together using thread, beadworks manifest the sophistication and hard work of Maranaos.  Beadworks are used as a design for ampas (tray cloths)  and mamandiang (a special Maranao wedding fabric), some of the well-known Maranao decorations. Bridging livelihood opportunities With the langkit (handloom) equipment and sewing machine starter kit from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) Bangon Marawi Project, a cooperative in Marawi City has started to help unemployed women by giving a livelihood opportunity through beadworks.  Named Raheemah Peace Weavers Producer Cooperative, it facilitates opportunities to vulnerable women and youth to pave the way towards peace in the conflict-affected areas in the city and Lanao del Sur. Due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, Raheemah shifted to another strategy that will give economic activities to its target beneficiaries. Raheemah coordinated with women who are engaged in producing Maranao decorations in Barangay Rogiro, Municipality of Bubong; Municipality of Tugaya; and Caloocan East in Marawi City. Beadworks towards success Omerah Dadayan of Barangay Calocan East, one of the women beneficiaries producing beadworks, shared that she used to sell street food in the market before the siege broke out on May 23, 2017. She also said that after the siege, they started farming. However, she shared that it cannot sustain their necessities.  “If we do not have work in our garden, this is what we do for us to get out of poverty because there is no assurance in working as a farmer. This is an addition to our source of income,” said Omerah.  She thanked DTI and Raheema for giving them something to do during their free time. “We are thankful to DTI and Raheema because we were given a livelihood opportunity because we don’t have much things to do at home. We now have a job so that will not be stressed out. During our free time, we have something productive to do and that it will not be put into waste,” she added.  Meanwhile, Saraminah Macapanton Tawakal, leader of Women’s Rogiro Ladies Mamandiang, Bubong, Lanao del Sur, shared how DTI helped them. “During the Marawi siege, DTI tended to help out organizations or cooperatives, that is where we started as a cooperative. We were then linked to Raheemah. Then we received the materials,” she said.  Saraminah paved the way for building an opportunity for her fellow women.  “I talked to women who are unemployed. I do this to help. I help those who do not do anything, those who are unemployed, solo parents who have no one to depend on, those separated,” she said.   Normala Ali Akbar also shared how Saraminah coordinated with them. “Alhamdulillah because Saraminah saw us gossiping, having no job so she called us. We then decided that we are willing to do the work as she planned. We somehow had a source of income even though we are just at home.] Weaving beads of perseverance towards success  The women beneficiaries emphasized the significance of persistence and perseverance towards success.  “To those women who do not have a job, and to those whose livelihood has been affected due to the Marawi siege, you should find ways that you will have another source of income for your family,” said Omerah. “ You must find ways so that you will have your own livelihood because there are so many kinds of livelihood that are not difficult,” she added. Meanwhile, Saraminah cited how persistence can pave the way for success. “When you are persistent, you will achieve all your wants and of your children. Do well in your job, do it properly so that it will be helpful for you and your family,” she said.  Protecting Maranao's identity Normala shared that she hopes that their business will expand and grow. She also said that the beadworks symbolize the identity of Maranao which carries vibrant stories. “This kind of production symbolizes the identity of Maranao so this should not vanish.  Because if it will vanish, the culture will also be gone. One will not be called a Maranao without this. Thus, we have to preserve it and develop it,” said Normala.  Indeed, the bead production does not only provide livelihood opportunities to the women but also contributes to the promotion of the tradition and culture of Maranao. (LELA/PIA ICIC) 

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MAFAR, MTIT, PCA converge to boost BARMM's coco industry

August 18, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Aug. 13 – In preparation for the upcoming 34th Coconut Week annual celebration, the Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT) collaborated with Department of Agriculture – Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). A memorandum of understanding was signed by the said parties on Thursday, August 13, to prepare for the celebration dubbed ‘Synergy on Regional Coconut Days: Coco Bazaar + Regional Coconut Industry Stakeholders Forum + MAFARlengke + Business-to-Business Matching/Business Counselling’. The annual celebration, which will be held on August 25 to 27 at the MAFAR compound in Cotabato City, aims to showcase the impact of the coconut industry in the lives of about 25 million Filipinos and on the Philippine economy. This will also emphasize the importance of coconut for the BARMM region. On the day of the event, PCA regional and provincial offices will be conducting various activities such as setting up of Coco-Bazaar and holding a coconut Stakeholders Forum. It will also showcase exhibits that will be participated by 11-coconut based organizations, 15 MAFARlengke Exhibitors, and three institutional booths of DA-PCA, MAFAR, and MTIT. The three-day celebration is expected to cater to at least 300 participants. PCA Regional Manager Marina B. Wahab shared that “the PCA thought of partnering with BARMM’s MAFAR and MTIT because coconut is significant to the lives of every Filipinos.” “Magmula ngayon hindi na farmers ang tawag sa kanila [kundi] ‘cocopreneurs’ para ang tingin nila sa pagniniyog ay isang negosyo,” Wahab said. MAFAR-BARMM Minister Mohammad Yacob said the signing of MOU implies the sustained partnership with PCA in BARMM and it is going to be one of the flagship programs of the ministry. “The MAFAR-BARMM is committed to support and facilitate the planting of coconut in the region and island provinces,” Yacob said. Further, MTIT Minister Abu Amri Taddik also cited the importance of ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program of the government which is needed to further incentivize and boost the agriculture sector amidst the ongoing global pandemic. “It is extremely important to provide assistance to our coconut farmers since its significantly beneficial not only to our region but also in the national economy,” Taddik said. (BPI/PIA ICIC))

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BARMM, UN ink social protection program partnership

August 18, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Aug. 16 – The Bangsamoro Government signed a social protection program partnership with the United Nations (UN) on Thursday, August 13, via a virtual launch, targeted to benefit the vulnerable in the region. BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim said this partnership is an intervention that will institutionalize a risk-informed shock-responsive social protection system. “The direction of this program will also pave way for a Bangsamoro that is compliant and prioritizes the global call to subscribe in the Sustainable Development Goals,” he stressed. The BARMM-UN partnership also highlights the regional government’s commitment to ensure that Bangsamoro is prepared even after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. “I am immensely excited for the eventual outcomes and hopefully, its lasting impact on Bangsamoro communities who desire nothing more but a more peaceful life with opportunities that lie ahead for them,” Ebrahim said. The social protection program aims to reduce social and economic risk and vulnerability and alleviate extreme poverty and deprivation, as stated in the Food and Agricultural Organization UN website. “Planning and acting early through shock-responsive social protection, before a disaster has happened, or reached its critical peak, can save lives and protect livelihoods from the immediate shocks while increasing the resilience of local communities over time,” UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez noted. During the third week of May, the UNICEF supported the provision of emergency cash transfers to 1,000 families in Lanao del Sur with 0-2 year- old children that were excluded from the 4Ps and the Social Amelioration Program of the Ministry of Social Services and Development. “UNICEF aims to provide critical support during the crucial first 1,000 days of a child’s life,” Gonzalez said. FAO, in partnership with the MSSD, is also set to conduct an emergency cash assistance initiative that will cover 1,800 indigent farming families in the Bangsamoro Region. This is complementary to the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). BARMM’s Executive Secretary Abdulraof A. Macacua and Assistant Executive Secretary Abdullah M. Cusain attended the said event together with FAO Country Representative ad interim Ms. Xiangjun Yao, Country Representative of UNICEF Ms. Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoror, as well as officials and representatives of several BARMM ministries. (BPI/PIA ICIC)

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LGU Marawi adopts more stringent measures against COVID-19

August 15, 2020

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 13 (PIA) - The local government of Marawi adopted a new regulation that aims to prevent the uncontrollable outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city. City Mayor Majul Gandamra issued Executive Order 2020-041 on 11 August 2020 imposing stricter measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Marawi. Accordingly, the City Government has observed that since the relaxation of the quarantine measures, mass gatherings have been prevalent in function halls located within the city. Moreover, since the lifting of the use of quarantine passes, the movement of people both coming from outside and those already in the city has heavily increased posing a threat to the spread of COVID-19. Under the new Executive Order, the operation of all function halls within the city is suspended for a period of fourteen (14) days. After the said period before the re-opening of establishments, the management of the different function halls is required to submit Operational Plans to the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO) where their actions towards their compliance with the minimum health protocols imposed by the city government will be reflected. After a thorough assessment, the CTO will issue a Certificate of Resumption of Operations.  The use of Quarantine Pass (QP) is also restored for its residents. The QP will be used by the head of the household who are going to purchase essential goods. The QP is transferrable among the members of the household but will only one authorize person per household to be outside to avail the same. Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR), medical and nonmedical frontliners, and employees of offices and industries that are allowed to operate are exempted from the use of QP but they must present their recent and valid Identification Card (ID) or Certificate of Employment upon inspection. For employees coming from neighboring municipalities and cities, they must present their valid government-issued IDs or Certificates of Employment and individual medical certificates upon their entry and exit to the city. For pharmacies and store owners who intend to purchase goods in Marawi, they must present their business permit and health certificate from the place of origin.  For persons seeking immediate medical attention who intend to enter the city, a recommendation letter from attending physician must be presented. As of August 12, the city has recorded a total of 59 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases with 26 active cases. (APB/PIA ICIC)

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