northern mindanao

Remote public school receives 2-storey classroom building from DPWH

December 14, 2020

Top officials of the Department Education – Iligan City Division recently received from the Department of Public Work and Highways-Lanao del Norte 2nd District Engineering Office a newly completed 2-storey school building in Estenzo-Comendador Memorial School located at Purok 2, Brgy. Upper Tominobo. The school building has four classrooms and could comfortably accommodate more than 50 pupils per classroom. “This has long been a dream of our parents, teachers and students, to have classrooms that allow learning to be fun and exciting. We are very much thankful to Superintendent Roy Angelo Gazo of Iligan City Schools Division for his steadfast support to our school and to Congressman Frederick Siao for making education one of his top priorities," expressed Principal Fe Quinga. The school is located about 18-kilometers from the city proper and takes close to 30-minutes of travel time from Suarez national highway to the school’s premises. “This is a well-built school building and we are confident that this will last for many years to come. We hope that from the future graduates of this beautiful school will rise leaders that will help propel Iligan City to new heights of peace and development," said District Engineer Alykhan Ali. The infrastructure project was implemented by Alfahad Builders and Enterprises. The school building has a budget allocation of P12.5-million as part of Congressman Siao’s Local Infrastructure Program (LIP).  “I am happy to report that as your Congressman starting 2016 up to this year 2020, the budget allocation for Iligan City is steadily increasing every year. And we need this budget for us to replace old and dilapidated school buildings that are no longer safe for our students," revealed Siao. Also present during the formal turn-over ceremony were Brgy. Chairman Rolando Lapas, Schools Operation Division Chief Juliet Timbang, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Shambaeh Abantas-Usman, West-1 District Supervisor Amelita LaForteza, Engr. Alfredo Paradela and Engr. Lyndon Ver Indig. (VNL/DPWH-PIO)

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TFBM ensures unhampered Marawi rehab despite pandemic

December 14, 2020

Rehabilitation efforts for the city’s most affected area remain unhampered despite  the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Field Office Manager Asec. Felix Castro Jr. said during the Pambansang Almusal episode of Net 25 channel. “Despite the pandemic, tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang ating rehabilitation ng Marawi. Iniimplement strictly ang protocols ng IATF sa mga checkpoints lalo na yung pulis at army,” said Castro. [Despite the pandemic, the rehabilitation of Marawi still continues. Health protocols are strictly implemented by IATF at checkpoints especially those policemen and army.] Castro also shared that the contractors designated a health officer for the workers to monitor their health status.  “Sa workers naman, kada kompanya, meron tayong itinalagang health officer kung saan ang trabaho niya ay laging icheck-up ang tauhan nila to ensure na wala silang sakit,” he added. [Each contractor designated a health officer for workers who checks on the workers to ensure that they are not sick.] The Field Office Manager also said that it is needed to guarantee the continuous rehabilitation.  Following the release of donations from private housing developers, repair works started on Masjid Darussalam in Barangay Raya Madaya 2, Masjid Disomangcop in Barangay Daguduban and the White Mosque in Barangay Lumbac Madaya.  Ongoing construction and rehabilitation includes the Grand Padian Market with Ice Plant, Peace Memorial Park, School of Living Tradition, barangay complexes with health center and madrasah,  four-storey integrated school building, road networks with solar lamps and underground utilities and Pumping Bridge. To recall, massive construction of infrastructures went on full blast in July after the Office of the President approved the budget to implementing agencies in April and May. TFBM established the MAA ID processing center in September to ensure security and safety of  personnel responsible for the massive reconstruction works. (LELA/PIA ICIC) 

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DA-10 turns over P7-M farm machinery to farmer's associations in Ozamiz

December 11, 2020

Aiming to raise rice farmers’ profitability and competitiveness through the use of mechanization technologies in the province, the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10 turned over farm machineries to three farmer associations at Molicay Barangay Hall, here. The Molicay Farmers Association received one unit of combine harvester, one unit of 4-wheel drive tractor, and one unit of mechanical rice transplanter; Maningcol Farmers Association received one unit of mechanical rice transplanter and one unit of mobile rice mill; and Gango Active Farmers Credit Cooperative received one unit of combine harvester, one unit of 4 wheel drive tractor, and one unit of mechanical rice transplanter. OIC City Agriculturist Carlos Pijuan said the provision of farm mechanization equipment aims to improve the efficiency of the farmers and their farm productivity.  “I am sure that with these farm equipment at your hands now will be a big boost to your farm production despite the health crisis that we are encountering now, and the government will continue assisting you,” he said. He also added that these advancements will prosper, and will continue to help the farmers. For her part, Vice Mayor Simplicia Neri encouraged the associations to nurture such blessings and that it is incumbent upon them to exercise due diligence or care to keep the property in top shape. "Once nurtured, like any individual or personal effects for that matter, it will in all certainty bring positive benefits to your organization in the ensuing years," she added. With the assistance, the associations can further improve the production aspect of their projects, the vice mayor said. Gango FA President Noli Paredes, one of the recipients, said the farmers can now make their farming activities easier and faster in the hope that it significantly increases income and even more productivity for growth. “Thank you DA and Mayor Sancho Fernando Oaminal for the help we received. The farm machinery is a big help for our association to be more productive and successful,” Paredes said. (SMRN/PIA Misamis Occidental)  

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Iligan EOC: Follow health rules during Christmas’

December 11, 2020

The Iligan Emergency Operations Center reminded anew the public to strictly observe the minimum public health standards during the holiday season as the city continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. "Kung mag Christmas party ug merry-making gathering, limitahan ra gyud nga within the family ra ninyo, unya the family should be less than 10 persons," EOC Health Cluster manager Dr. Belinda Lim emphasized in a COVID-19 virtual presser, Wednesday, as she shared the salient provisions of Executive Order (EO) 144. (If you will have Christmas party and merry-making gatherings, limit it within the family, and the family should be less than 10 persons.)  The said EO issued by city mayor Celso Regencia last week provided additional guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation during the holiday season. Lim pointed out that even if the gatherings are among family members, attendees should remain to be vigilant in applying standard minimum health protocols such as proper physical distancing, avoidance of physical contact, frequent hand washing, and non-sharing of plates, utensils, glasses and others. The EO also requires elderly, pregnant, or those with comorbidities to stay in one area while the younger ones or those who have high levels of exposure should stay in another during family gatherings. "Ato pud geprotektahan ang naa sa extreme ages such as those less than 18 years old and more than 65 years olds sa tigom-tigom kay they are the vulnerable group sa COVID-19," she added. (We also protect in gatherings those in extreme ages such as less than 18 years old and more than 65 years olds because they are the vulnerable group for COVID-19.) Lim further said house to house caroling is prohibited under the new EO. "Mahadlok ta kay basin ang mahatag dili lang sensilyo ug pinaskuhan, basin maapil pa ang COVID virus," the EOC manager pointed out. (We are afraid that aside from coins and Christmas gifts, we might give them COVID virus.) The EO also regulates the conduct of gift-giving and the consumption of liquor and alcoholic drinks in restaurants and bars. Accordingly, "persons or establishments intending to conduct gift-giving must ensure that recipients are limited to 10 attendees and standard health protocols such as wearing of face mask and face shields and strict physical distancing are strictly observed." Meanwhile, drinking liquor, alcoholic drinks, or any intoxicating product in public places such as restaurants, bars, eateries, and other similar establishments is allowed but only limited to two servings per customer (APB/PIA-ICIC)  

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Christmas trade fair opens in Iligan

December 11, 2020

Forty start-up businesses showcase their products and services in a Christmas bazaar dubbed 'Lanao Christmas Trade Fair' at the Robinson's Place, this city. Spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Iligan, Incorporated (CCIFII), in partnership with the local government of Iligan, the Department of Trade and Industry - Iligan and Lanao del Norte (DTI), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) – Plan International, this trade fair aims to boost the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)  from Iligan, Marawi and the province of Lanao del Sur. Motivated to 'maintain the balance' between the business and health sector amid the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCIFII moves to uplift the economy without compromising the health and safety protocols through this 9-day bazaar. "The Lanao Christmas trade fair was conceptualized because of the inspiration and eagerness to help start-ups, the micro and small businesses to succeed and to prosper in this challenging time of the pandemic. We are here to showcase the products and services that we have here in Iligan and also in Marawi and Lanao. More importantly, we are endorsing and promoting the slogan – go local, buy local, spend it here, keep it here," shared CCIFII President Reggie Punongbayan. Lined-up for sales are different thrift products from food and beverages, mementos, to the intricate cultural works crafted by local MSMEs. On a positive note, DTI provincial director Ruel Paclipan backs-up these small business owners by incorporating various government programs to enhance their productivity and increase sales. "Most of the trade promotion events of the DTI nag-shift na sa online, but nothing beats FTF or face-to-face transactions. So, we hope that at the end of this fair on December 15, ubay-ubay ang atong mahalin, and beyond the halin nato, naa pa gyud ta'y booked orders," Paclipan expressed. [Most of the trade promotion of the DTI already shifted online, but nothing beats FTF or face-to-face transactions. So, we hope that at the end of this fair on December 15, we already sold most of our products, and above it are booked orders.] Barely moving on from the 2017 Marawi siege, one of the most sought-out kiosks inside the trade fair is the 'Maranao Collectibles', a local brand based in Marawi city being uplifted by government interventions. Displaying their infamous authentic handwoven Maranao products, Salika Samad, her husband, and their team of displaced weavers brought their pride hoping to gain profit after an eight-month long decrease of regular sales caused by lock down due to the pandemic, limiting movement of raw materials used to make their crafts. "Mahirap talaga at first kase lahat naman tayo ay nag-lock down. Unti-unti nang bumabangon from Marawi siege, ngayong pandemic, still we have to keep going, keep pushing. At the same time, we see it as an opportunity for new products such as our 'mask maganda'," imparted Salika. [It was hard at first because of the lockdown. We have gradually risen from the Marawi siege, now with the pandemic, we still have to keep going, keep pushing. At the same time, we see it as an opportunity for new products such as our 'mask maganda'.] Salika conveyed gratitude to CCIFII, DTI and USAid Plan International for organizing the event that provided a venue for budding businesses in the locality. "Maraming maraming salamat sa Iligan Chamber, DTI and Plan International sa pagbigay oportunidad sa amin na makapag-display na naman kasi restricted lahat ng activities ngayon dahil nga sa COVID. Pero still you are here giving us hope na at least man lang we can show our new products to the people," she said. [Thank you so much to Iligan Chamber, DTI and Plan International for giving us the opportunity to show-off because we know that all the activities are restricted due to COVID. However, you're still here giving us hope that at least we could show our new products to the people.] The Christmas Trade Fair will culminate on December 15, 2020. Until then, there will be a daily demo on the different products being sold within the bazaar. (CLV/PIA-ICIC)

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FEATURE: Maito a tinda sa Saduc: From loss to recovery

December 11, 2020

When their family returned to Marawi after the five-month siege in 2017, Asnairah Edris and Minda Magdara knew that they would be left with nothing. No homes, no jobs, and no livelihood to pull-up.  The Islamic State-inspired militants displaced most of the city's 200,000 residents which tore Marawi to a dreadful economic loss. The liberation of Marawi City on October 17 started an era of rebuilding a new, peaceful and inclusive Maranao community. From then on, the government has vigorously worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the agencies of Business and Livelihood sub-committee of the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and its partner humanitarian organizations in providing sustainable livelihood and income opportunities to the internally displaced persons (IDPs). One step at a time To help the women of the Saduc community to gain a sustainable livelihood, they were given grocery merchandise or best known as 'maito a tinda'- a Maranao term for sari-sari store. Edris and Magdara are members of the Saduc Riverside IDPs Consumers Cooperative organized by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT). UN HABITAT provided Php1.6 million worth assistance to the cooperative composed of a Bongo truck, inventory, operational expenses, labor and wages. The cooperative is also a beneficiary of Balay Integrated Rehabilitation Center for Total Human Development (BIRTHDEV) and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. “Ang Birthdev ay naghanap ng isang livelihood na napatayo na at pwede nilang matulungan, at napili kami," Edris recalls.  (The Birthdev looked for an established livelihood that they can help and sponsor, and we were chosen.) Edris adds that aside from the grocery merchandise, they were also given sacks of rice by DTI, cash by DSWD for the LAA, and permanent  shelters of UN-Habitat. Magdara, on the other hand, received a sewing machine from DTI, exclaiming that she enjoys sewing from then on. The two women share the liking of a buy and sell enterprise which brings them together in operating the sari-sari store owned by the cooperative. With their store open, the cooperative is earning income again, and not just relying on financial aid given by the government.  “Bago pa nag-announce na mag-lockdown dahil sa pandemic, may benta na kami na Php50,000 per day. Ngayon medyo matumal na [dahil sa pandemic], minsan Php10,000 o Php5,000 nalang,” said Edris. (Before the lockdown due to the pandemic, we are earning Php50,000 per day. Today it slackens because of the pandemic, we only earn Php10,000 or sometimes Php5,000.) Braiding business attitude and resiliency Because of the sari-sari store’s limited capacity, it will carry only what’s fast-moving and essential. This brings light to a more positive Edris and Magdara in continuing the livelihood program sponsored by the government. Magdara emphasized to her fellow IDPs the essence of working hard and patience. She also stressed out the importance of small beginnings in achieving greater outcomes. Edris is eager to move forward with the cooperative. She also urged her fellow IDPs to strive and develop the government relief given to them. “Wala ka talagang kikitain kung hindi ka talaga masipag, kailangan ka talagang gumalaw," said Edris.  (You will not earn if you will not work hard, you need to work for it.) Both are in hopes that the small enterprise would help Marawi’s economic recovery in time. The sari-sari store kits are sponsored by the DTI through the Negosyo Centers to aid qualified IDPs in restoring and improving their businesses. (KAPS/PIA-ICIC)  

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