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Inspiring Stories

DepEd-ARMM inaugurates DxED-FM repeater station in Marawi City

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 31 (PIA) --- The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) recently inaugurated here one (1) of the repeater stations of the DxED FM 99.7.

The inauguration which took place last May 26 at the Division of Lanao del Sur II-A in People’s Park, this city, was graced by DepEd-ARMM Secretary Baratucal Caudang, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Program Officer Reagan Dagadas, AusAID-Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Program Consultant Ramon Bobier, and Bureau of Public Information Director Ali Macabalang.

“Funded by the AusAID through its BEAM program, the radio repeater station was established to expand the capacity and coverage of the main radio station located in Cotabato City to reach out to more learners, teachers, and pupils across the ARMM.

Caudang said the main radio facility does not have the capability to reach the different areas of the ARMM but with the repeater stations here and in Basilan they will be able to expand the coverage of their school-on-air program in this province and in the island provinces of the region.

He said they will also be utilizing the radio facility in disseminating information on the various programs and projects of DepEd-ARMM as well as the regional government’s programs including those of the different agencies in the ARMM.

Dagadas, on the other hand, emphasized the support of the Australian government in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and in providing education opportunities to all children particularly in difficult circumstances like in the ARMM.

“We understand that there are about 500,000 out-of-school children in the region, hence, this radio facility will provide the much-needed learning opportunity for these children,” he said.

In addition, Bobier said the repeater radio station is an education facility that will support the on-going Alternative Learning System of the education department primarily the Radio-Based Instruction (RBI) program.

An alternative delivery mode, RBI utilizes radio broadcast to expand access to education and increase equity in both formal and non-formal education, especially among out-of-school youths in remote communities. (PIA-10)


DepEd, AusAID undertake Brigada Eskwela in ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 30 (PIA) -- The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) joined the rest the nation in conducting Brigada Eskwela to make sure that public schools across the region are set in time for the school opening on June 6, 2011.

DepEd-ARMM Secretary Baratucal Caudang together with AusAID Program Officer Reagan Dagadas, and AusAID Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Program Consultant Ramon Bobier went to Amaipakpak Central Elementary School, here, and led the clean-up and repairs of classrooms on Thursday, May 26.

Prior to that, they visited Maguindanao and undertook similar school maintenance activities in Tarikin Elementary School in Sultan Mastura and Camp Siongco National High School in Datu Odin Sinsuat on May 24.

Brigada Eskwela, otherwise known as National School Maintenance Week, is an annual school maintenance program spearheaded by the DepEd and participated in by parents, students, teachers, local governments, civic organizations, and other education stakeholders to ensure the readiness and preparedness of public schools for the opening of classes.

Dagadas said AusAID have volunteered for the Brigada Eskwela to show their commitment and continuous support to ARMM.

“We believe in the spirit of volunteerism that we will see more community and private sector participation, next time,” he said.

A partner of the DepEd-ARMM in conducting Brigada Eskwela since 2008, AusAID-BEAM gave P40,000 to each of the 30 selected schools in the region in support to their Brigada Eskwela activities.

DepEd-ARMM and AusAID-BEAM are also scheduled to conduct Brigada Eskwela in Concepcion Central Elementary School in Basilan on May 31. (PIA10 with report from BPI-ARMM)


COMELEC is cleansing ARMM voters’ list, says poll body exec

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 27 (PIA) --- To ensure honest, orderly and peaceful elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) implemented a cleansing of the Lists of Voters in the entire region.

“We have been implementing a cleansing project through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which uses fingerprints to identify double and/or multiple registrants,” said Atty, Ray Sumalipao, COMELEC-ARMM Director.

He said the COMELEC has identified some 73,000 double and/or multiple registrants in the ARMM as a result of the AFIS matching.

“As directed by the Commission, our field personnel have already deleted these double and/or multiple registrants from the list,” Sumalipao further said.

Also, he clarified that the deletion was monitored and checked by COMELEC personnel coming from Manila.

He, likewise, disclosed the deletion of some 13,000 double and/or multiple registrants who were identified as such using algorithmic matching, a process of comparing the names and other data among the registered voters.

In the meantime, the regional election director urged ARMM constituents to help in ensuring peaceful and orderly polls in the region.

He said he did not receive formal report of any election-related untoward incidents as of the last day of the filing certificate of candidacy and he is hopeful that the peaceful and orderly atmosphere will continue until the election day.

“We count on our police and military forces in maintaining this prevailing peace and order but we are also soliciting the support of all the registered voters and inhabitants of the ARMM to help in maintain the peace," he added. (PIA-10)


24 vie for Lanao del Sur assemblyman post in ARMM polls

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 26 (PIA) -- At least 24 contenders are vying for a post of assemblyman in the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a Commission on Elections (COMELEC) official said.

Atty. Nasib Yasin, Provincial Election Supervisor, said as of midnight yesterday, May 25, twelve (12) aspirants for assemblyman in the 1st District have filed their certificate of candidacy (COC) while another twelve (12) candidates have also filed their COCs for 2nd District assemblyman.

He disclosed that the contenders in the 1st District are Jammaluddin Abbas, Ziaur Adiong, Khomiene Taha, Samir Salic, Saifullah Magarang, Salic Sultan, Alizar Maniri, Rawia Pangadapun, Abduljabbar Mamoclo, Alzemeirh Lucman, Janimah Pandi, and Mohammad Naseef Macaraya.

Those in the 2nd District are Saidamen Limgas, Yasser Balindong, Alexander Menor, Cardawi Macasilang, Ayubkhan Marohombsar, Rasmia Salic, Morsalem Binnor, Khalid Taha, Sainoden Balindong, Jamael Balt, Ansari Lao and Racman Lanto.

Originally, the last day for the filing of COCs was scheduled last May 23 but the COMELEC has extended the deadline until May 25.

Lawyer Ray Sumalipao, Regional Director of COMELEC-ARMM, told media that the Office of COMELEC-ARMM requested for an extension of two (2) days because few aspirants have failed to file their COC’s during the first few days of filing due to the geographical location of the ARMM.

He cited that the geography of the region made it difficult for the aspirants to file their COCs on time, thus the need for a longer period of filing.

“We have to consider the fact that this region is composed of five (5) provinces with three (3) island provinces and it would require several hours to travel to Cotabato City,” Sumalipao emphasized.

Likewise, he said he requested for the opening of satellite offices here and in Zamboanga City to cater to the candidates for Regional Governor and Vice-Governor positions from Lanao del Sur and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Sumalipao also disclosed that there are fourteen (14) aspirants for the regional governor post and sixteen (16) contenders for the regional vice governor post. (PIA-10)


DSWD-12 conducts orientation on the 4P’s program in Marawi

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 25 (PIA) --- An orientation about the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) was conducted here by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), region 12, last May 21.

Although the city is within the area of the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), it is DSWD-12 which will implement the project.

The orientation was aimed at educating the barangay chairmen, city department heads, and other partners such as non-government organizations regarding the 4P’s.

Questions on the targeting and selection of beneficiaries, as well, as compliance with the conditionalities were clarified during the orientation held at Bagumbayan Hall inside the City Hall Complex, this city.

“The 4Ps is a poverty reduction and social development strategy of the national government that provides social assistance in the form of conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve their health, nutrition and education particularly of children aged 0-14 years old,” said DSWD-12 Director Bai Zorahayda Tanggol-Taha.

She said cash grants up to P6,000 a year or P500 per month per household are offered to identified beneficiaries for health and nutrition expenses, as wel,l as P3,000 for a year or P300 per month per child for 10 months for educational expenses for a maximum of three (3) children per household.

“A household with three (3) qualified children will receive a subsidy of P1,400 per month during the school year or P15,000 annually as long as they comply with the conditionalities set by the program,” explained Taha.

She cited, as the conditions of the program, the following: pregnant household member must get pre-and post-natal care, and be attended by a skilled health professional during childbirth, and children 0-5 years old must receive regular preventive health check-ups and immunization.

Children 3-5 years old must attend day care or pre-school program and maintain a class attendance rate of at least 85% per month, and children 6-14 years old must enrol in elementary or high school and maintain a class attendance rate of at least 85% per month.

Also, parents or guardians must attend family development sessions at least once a month and participate in community activities.

“Non-compliance of the conditions set will result to the suspension of the cash grants or disqualification from the program,” she added.

Taha further explained that compliance with the conditions will be verified by the DSWD in coordination with the organized City Advisory Committee chaired by the City Mayor.

The committee is also composed of representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd), City Health Office (CHO), City Planning and Development Office (CPDO), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Population Commission (POPCOM), and City Social Welfare and Development (SWD).

The other members are the City Council’s Committee on Social Services Chairman, Association of Barangay Chairman President, and City Links. (PIA10)


Marawi City, now a 4P’s area under DSWD-12

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 24 (PIA) -- Administratively, Marawi City belongs to the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after it voted “Yes” in the plebiscite defining the areas of coverage of the region.

To facilitate matters, however, the city has been identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as an area for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and placed under the supervision of DSWD, region 12.

Since then, some 11,490 or 90% of the city’s 12,777 identified poor households have been targeted as potential beneficiaries of the 4Ps under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) as of February 28, this year,” DSWD-12 Field Coordinator Abduallah Dumagay said.

A mechanism in identifying who and where the poor are in the country, NHTS-PR establishes a unified database of poor households which serves as basis in identifying recipients of the social protection programs of the government, he said.

However, those potential beneficiaries included in the NHTS-PR list will still go through the process of validation and registration before they can qualify for the program, Dumagay further said.

Meanwhile, City Social Welfare and Development Officer Lawambai Usman announced during the 4Ps orientation held last May 21, here, that a simultaneous community assembly for 4Ps potential beneficiaries will be held in different designated areas of the city from June 6-24, this year.

She called on the barangay chairmen to advise the potential beneficiaries in their respective areas to bring any of following documents in the community assembly for identification and validation:

Birth certificate, marriage contract, valid identification cards (IDs), such as, voter’s ID, postal ID, or tax information number (TIN), proof of billing, children’s school card or school ID or children’s health record.

Usman likewise emphasized that “cedula” or the community tax certificate and barangay certification shall not be accepted as identification during the validation and registration.

“In addition to the documents mentioned, potential beneficiaries must also bring one (1) piece of 1 x 1 and two (2) pieces of 2 x 2 photos,” she added.

A poverty reduction strategy of the government 4Ps provides conditional cash grants to extremely poor households with the aim of improving their health, nutrition and education, particularly, children from 0 to 14 years old. (PIA10)


Comelec ready for ARMM elections

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 23 (PIA) --- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ready and prepared for the conduct of elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on August 8, 2011.

“As of this point in time, we could say that we are very much ready for the elections using the same technology used during the May 2010 national and local elections,” said Atty. Ray Sumalipao, Director of Comelec-ARMM.

He said the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines will be re-used in the upcoming elections but with some innovations to respond to the shortcomings encountered during the May 2010 elections.

“At least now, we are aware of the problems and we already put in place the necessary measures to counter such problems come August 8,” he added.

Sumalipao cited the number of registered voters’ casting votes in one (1) PCOS machine was one of the prominent problems during the May 10 elections.

He said during the May 10 elections, a maximum of 1,000 registered voters cast their votes in one (1) PCOS machine while this coming ARMM election only 600 registered voters will be casting their votes per PCOS machine.

Noting that few positions are at stake in ARMM elections, he is also confident that delays and crowding can certainly be avoided.

The Comelec-ARMM Director, meantime, disclosed that the last day to constitute members of board of election inspectors (BEIs) shall be on May 25, 2011.

He said they will be using the same BEIs who served during the May 10 elections due to the fact that most of them or majority of them or at least two of the members in each board were already certified by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

“We are pretty sure that they are already knowledgeable of the operations of the PCOS machines and familiar with the technology but they will still go through the process of training and they will be certified again by the DOST,” he further said. (PIA10)


725 Balabagan residents benefit from TESDA- Lanao Sur livelihood trainings

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 23 (PIA) --- Some 725 residents of Balabagan town, this province, were benefited by the 29 livelihood skills trainings conducted by The Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), this province.

TESDA Provincial Director Tarhata Mapandi said the trainings which started last February is part of TESDA’s community-based program aimed at creating livelihood opportunities to poor and marginal groups to help themselves and their communities.

The trainings included those on Dressmaking, Cooking, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Massage Therapy, Bamboo Furniture Making, Carpentry, Small Engine Servicing (motorcycle repair), Organic Fertilizer Making (foliar), Refrigeration Repair, Cellphone Repair, and T-shirt Printing (silkscreen), she said.

Of the trainings, dressmaking had the most number of 158 participants, followed by Cooking with 151, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, 96, Massage Therapy, 84, Bamboo Furniture Making, 50, Carpentry, 52, Small Engine Servicing, 44, Organic Fertilizer Making, 29, Refrigeration Repair, 24, Cellphone Repair, 23, and T-shirt Printing, 14.

Mapandi said the trainings were conducted in Barangays Barorao, Magalalong Occidental, Budas, Igabay, Upper Itil, Lower Itil, Lalabuan, Batuan, Narra, Poblacion, and Banago.

As of press time, she said other skills training are still being conducted in other barangays until all of the barangays in said town are covered.

She also explained that TESDA shoulders the trainer's fee, some equipment, tools, materials and training modules while local government of Balabagan shoulders the consumables and other supplies.

“TESDA supervises and monitors the training in collaboration with J.I. Skills Training Center as the point contact in the training arrangement,” Mapandi further explained.

She was also happy to cite that some of the trainees on Massage Therapy, Small Engine Servicing, Cooking, and Bamboo Furniture Making have generated income and started their own shops. (PIA10)


Senate hearings on postponement of ARMM elections help clarify many issues

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 22 (PIA) -- Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Chairperson of the Committee on Local Government in the Senate, said public hearings on the postponement of the elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has helped clarify many issues.

The most contentious among the issues is still that of the appointment of officers-in-charge (OICs), the Senator said in one such public hearings held at the Provincial Capitol Gymnasium, Marawi City, last May 19.

“This is because there is a legal question as to whether or not the President has the power and whether or not the postponement and appointment is weakening or undercutting the autonomy that the Muslim Mindanao have fought for and recognized as an important part of ARMM,” he said.

He further said his committee will probably schedule another hearing with the Executive Department to ask them to explain why it is that they have made such proposal.

For his part, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, himself a Mindanaoan, said “We need to conduct a last hearing with them to find out what really is their action plan to convince us further if it is really needed to postpone the elections and appoint officials for the ARMM.”

Aside from the action plan, Marcos said it is also important to know the methodology in selecting the OICs.

Meantime, Provincial Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr., who hosted the consultation, expressed optimism that the outcome of the public hearing will lead to a fruitful resolution that will uphold the welfare of the Moro people. (PIA10)


Comelec amends election period for ARMM polls

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 19 (PIA) -- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has amended the election period in connection with the August 8, 2011 Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) polls.

Atty. Nasib Yasin, provincial election supervisor, said the election period was moved to June 9, 2011 until September 7, 2011 per Comelec Resolution No. 9219, after it was originally set from May 10 to September 7, 2011.

He said the reason for amending the election period is to afford more time to prepare and review the guidelines for the conduct of the elections to ensure a credible election in the autonomous region.

During the election period, the alteration of territory of precincts or the establishment of new precincts, the transfer of officers and employees in the civil service, and the use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates shall be prohibited.

The ban on bearing, carrying or transporting of firearms and deadly weapons shall likewise take effect in the ARMM during this period.

Moreover, Resolution No. 9219 also set the new period for the prohibition on appointment, creation or filling up of new positions, promotions or giving of salary increases or remuneration or privilege, releases, disbursements or expenditures of public funds, and construction of public works from June 24, 2011 until August 7, 2011. (PIA10)


Filing of COCs for ARMM polls to start on May 19

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 18 (PIA) --- The filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the August 8, 2011 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will start on May 19, a poll official said on Monday.

Atty. Nasib Yasin, Provincial Election Supervisor, said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has promulgated Resolution No. 9218, last week, moving again the period for the filing of COC to afford more time for the pre-election preparations relative to the upcoming regional elections.

The filing of COC was originally set from May 9-13, 2011 and was later reset to May 14-18, 2011 and finally to May 19-23, this year.

He said the period for holding political conventions to select and nominate official party candidates for the ARMM elections was also moved to not later than May 18, 2011.

On August 8, voters in the autonomous region will elect the Regional Governor, Regional Vice-Governor, and members of the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA).

Meanwhile, Yasin said the filing of COCs for the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial posts should be done at the Office of the Regional Election Director while COCs for the position of the members of RLA should be filed at the Office of the PES concerned.

The filing of COCs shall be held from 8am to 5pm, inclusive of Saturdays and Sundays, Yasin added. (PIA10)


TESDA’s livelihood, skills training program benefit Lanao Sur residents

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 16 (PIA) --- The livelihood and skills training program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is gaining ground as it benefits more residents in the province.

Tarhata Mapandi, TESDA Provincial Director, said they had just recently completed livelihood and skills training in Malabang town, this province, last May 3 that benefited about 124 residents.

The training held at Malabang National High School included fish snacks making, chocolate and candy making, fashion accessories making, coconut processing and bread making.

She said the beneficiaries were also afforded with additional incentives in the form of livelihood and training kits.

The training was sponsored by Lanao del Sur 2nd District Representative Pangalian Balindong in partnership with the local government unit of Malabang, and the Department of Education, she added.

Mapandi further said that during the first week of May, another 100 beneficiaries in Saguiaran town were provided with skills training on dressmaking while 48 more beneficiaries in this city were trained on soap making.

She also disclosed that their center-based training program held at TESDA’s Provincial/City Manpower Development Center (PCMDC) has also benefited 1,564 individuals, as of April 30, 2011.

She said the free qualifications being offered at PCMDC include Consumer Electronics Servicing NC II, Auto Servicing NC I, Dressmaking NC II, Computer Hardware Servicing NC II, Electrical Installation and Maintenance NC II, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning NC II, and Personal Computer (PC) Operations. (PIA-10)


APO to hold fun run for peace in Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 12 (PIA) --- The Alpha Phi Omega – Beta Upsilon (APO-BU) Chapter will spearhead a fun run event, this year, as part of their commitment and contribution in forging peace in the province.

Dubbed as “Lagoy Ko Kalilintad 2011 or Run for Peace 2011,” the 10-km. and 3-km run aims to bring peace awareness to the people of Lanao del Sur through sports and recreation.

Slated on May 21, the 10-km run will kick-off at 6:00am at the Kabasaran Area in Pantar town and will culminate at the APO-BU Tambayan in Mindanao State University (MSU) main campus where a short program will be conducted.

The 3-km fun run will be held just within the MSU campus.

A registration fee of P300 will be requested from each participant for the 10-km and P250 for the 3-km fun run.

Proceeds of the event will go to the Peace Education Awareness Campaign of APO-BU Chapter, which they will use in conducting school visitations to educate the students on the present peace negotiation and peace in general.

Also, part of the proceeds will be used to buy school supplies for students in public schools for this coming school year.

The APO-BU Chapter is inviting all interested citizens, aged 20 years old and above, to participate in the worthy cause and join the fun run for peace.

Those interested to join can register at APO-BU Tambayan in MSU campus until May 14 from 6:30am to 6:00pm.

Winners will be receiving cash prizes ranging from P3,000 to P5,000.

The fun run is being conducted by the provincial government of Lanao del Sur, in partnership with the Philippine National Red Cross, Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office, and the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association. (PIA-10)


Involvement of all stakeholders vital in winning peace

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 10 (PIA) -- Col. Leo Cresente Ferrer, Commander of the 601st Infantry Brigade (601Bde), Philippine Army, underscored the importance of the involvement of all stakeholders in winning peace.

Ferrer, who graced the 24th founding anniversary of the 64th Infantry Battalion (64IB) last May 6, emphasized that the internal security concern being addressed is multi-faceted and must be shared not just among security forces and government institutions but also with civil society organizations (CSO) and the community as a whole.

“It is widely acknowledged within the military institution, the academe, and civil society that purely military solution to end insurgency remains inadequate,” he cited.

During the simple ceremony held at the 64th IB headquarters in Barangay Pawak, Saguiaran town, this province, he promoted the government’s whole-of-nation approach to end insurgency.

He said the whole-of-nation is one of the two (2) approaches under the Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that focuses more on winning the peace instead of defeating the enemy.

“The IPSP or Bayanihan which seeks to incorporate the participation of stakeholders in winning the peace is a paradigm shift on how the AFP views internal security operations,” he further said.

Ferrer explained that the role of the AFP in the whole-of-nation approach is to catalyze the involvement of all stakeholders and facilitate the synergy of all efforts by engaging its counterparts and partners through consultations and dialogues.

Also, he further reminded the 64IB troopers to support, protect and preserve the primacy of the peace process between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“In preserving the primacy of the peace process, we are directed to give our utmost cooperation to support the different coordinative ceasefire mechanisms in the performance of our mandated functions, and to refrain from committing acts that would undermine the peace negotiations,” he added. (PIA-10)


Awarding of deserving personnel highlights 64IB’s 24th founding anniversary

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 9 (PIA) --- Awarding of military commendation medals to deserving military personnel for their exemplary performance and meritorious achievements highlighted the celebration of the 64th Infantry (Knights) Battalion’s 24 years of service to the nation.

Lt. Col. Dario Bucawit, the 14th Commander of the battalion, said they commemorated the founding anniversary of the unit to recognize and acknowledge the pioneering efforts and sacrifices of the unit’s officers and enlisted personnel which drove the battalion to achieve numerous accomplishments.

Bucawit also emphasized that the celebration marked not only the recognition of the historical moment of the unit but also the venue to show to the populace that the Knights troopers are disciplined soldiers and reliable protectors of the people.

He too expressed optimism that long lasting peace and progress in the province can be attained with the support and cooperation of its partners such as the police, local government units, businessmen, non-government organizations, civil-society organizations, and the general public.

Also, three (3) newly-promoted officers were pinned their ranks during the ceremony held at the 64IB headquarters in Barangay Pawak, Saguiaran, this province, last May 6.

Activated on May 1, 1987 under the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division (6ID), Philippine Army (PA), 64IB was awarded as the Best Infantry battalion in the whole 6ID.

It was also adjudged as the Best Infantry Battalion in the whole PA and Best Battalion in Tactical Operations in 1995, as it likewise received the Presidential Streamer Award, in the same year.

In 1997, the unit was awarded as the 6ID’s Best Battalion in Intelligence, Civil-Military Operations, Education and Training.

It was further awarded as the Best Maneuver Battalion in Intelligence, Logistics, Operations and Training in 2006 and again recognized as the 6ID’s Best Infantry Battalion in 2008.

Joining the celebration were some local officials, and Col. Daniel Lucero and Col. Leo Cresente Ferrer, Commanders of 103rd and 601st Infantry Brigades, respectively.

Truck pushing, assembling and disassembling of M16 Armalite rifles, and other fun games were also conducted during the whole-day celebration. (PIA-10)


The Search for Good ARMM Leadership is on

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 7 (PIA) --- The “Search for Good ARMM (Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao) Leadership” is on.

This was the theme of the consultation/ meeting organized by the Islamic Movement on Electoral Reform for Good Government (IMERGG) and the Muslim Multi-Sectoral Movement for Peace and Development (MMMPD) in collaboration with the Reform ARMM Now (RAN)!

Held at Indarapatra Hall, Barangay Banggolo, this city, recently, the activity was intended to gather and discuss the criteria for good leadership, as well, as the characteristics of a good leader to be appointed or to be elected in the coming August 8, 2011 ARMM elections.

Stakeholders from various organizations and sectors in the province who have called for reforms in the management of ARMM shared their different perspectives on how to enhance good leadership for the entire autonomous region.

Datu Abdullah ‘Lacs’ Dalidig, IMERGG Chairperson and MMMPD, said graft and corruption has always been the problem in the region thus the need for the search of good leader in the ARMM.

He said a good leader is to whom people can entrust the peace and development in autonomous region showing to the national government Bangsamoro’s capability to govern their own land.

Datu Salic Ibrahim also gave the history of RAN coalition, which is also pushing for the postponement of the ARMM polls to give way for the institution of reforms that will benefit majority of the people in the region. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA-10)


PIA activates OFW Watch page on Facebook

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 05 (PIA) - To enable the government to better serve Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFWs), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) has recently activated a new page on Facebook called “PIA OFW Watch.”

The Facebook page was launched on April 29, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The PIA OFW Watch will operate as an open platform for OFWs and their families to directly post their queries and concerns to the Philippine government.

A team from the PIA will screen these concerns and relay them to the concerned government agencies such as DOLE, DFA, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for appropriate response or action.

PIA OFW Watch will also serve as a venue for the abovementioned government agencies to relay announcements and other information regarding OFWs concerns.

The PIA will post stories gathered from its 16 regional offices and 68 provincial information centers on OFW matters. Sources of stories will include local government and non-government organizations. The concerns of OFW families will also be posted on the Facebook page.

The page will also post news reports from the print, broadcast and online media on world events that may affect Filipinos abroad.

Through this social networking platform, the PIA seeks to improve the working condition of OFWs by guaranteeing quick government action on their legitimate concerns regarding their employment abroad. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA-10)


Police officers undergo training on first aid, basic life support

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 5 (PIA) --- Thirty-five selected police officers in the province are currently undergoing a five-day training on standard first aid and basic life support to enhance their knowledge and skills on how to effectively respond to various emergency situations.

Sr. Supt. Rodolfo Asejo Llorca, provincial police director, said the enhancement training aims to further improve the life-saving skills of police officers as first-hand emergency responders.

He said they are training their policemen so that when disaster occurs, they are ready and well-prepared for it and emphasized that the more prepared the responders are, the more lives they can save.

The training which started on May 2 and culminates on May 6 is being conducted in partnership with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Lanao del Sur-Marawi City Chapter headed by First Lady Raifa Adiong.

Llorca said the activity is just one of the much training to be undertaken by them as part of the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LSPPO) Human Resource Capacity-Building Project.

Chief Inspector Mary Grace Madayag, Project Manager and Assistant Provincial Director for Operations, said the goal of the project is to improve the capacity of LSPPO personnel on the areas of individual personal safety, first aid skills, English language usage, computer operations, and other livelihood skills.

She further said that the project forms part of the agreement forged by LSPPO, PNRC, Tactical Foundation Training and Assessment Center, Inc. (TFTACI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) last March.

“It is also aligned to the Integrated Transformation Program (ITP) of the Philippine National Police (PNP),” she added.

The ITP was designed to support achieving the PNP reform goal of enhancing delivery of peace and order and public safety services within the context of an improved public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA10)


Election period in ARMM starts May 10

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 5 (PIA) --- The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has set the election period in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) from May 10 to September 07, this year.

Atty. Nasib Yasin, Provincial Election Supervisor, said the gun ban, as well, as the ban on the alteration of territory of precincts or the establishment of new precincts, the transfer of officers and employees in the civil service, use of security personnel or bodyguards by candidates, and maintenance of strike forces will take effect during this period.

He said COMELEC Resolution 9198 also prohibits the appointment or hiring of new employees, creation or filling of new positions, and promotion or giving of salary increases or remuneration or privileges effective May 10 to August 07.

The resolution, also imposes a ban on the construction of public works and release of public funds for public works and social services, during the period.

“Raising of funds through dances, lotteries and cockfights shall likewise be prohibited,” he added.

The poll body meantime sets the campaign period from June 24 until August 6, Yasin, also said. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA-10)


Comelec resets filing of COCs for ARMM polls to May 14

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 04 (PIA) --- The Commission on Elections (Comelec) moved the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections to May 14 until 18, from its original schedule, last May 9 to 13.

Atty. Nasib Yasin, Provincial Election Supervisor (PES), said the poll body saw the need to reset the period for filing of COCs to ensure completion of the preparatory activities prior to the filing.

He disclosed that the filing of COC shall be from 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. begining May 14 up to May 17, inclusive of Saturday and Sunday, and from 8:00a.m. to 12:00 midnight of May 18.

“The filing of COC for Gubernatorial and Vice Gubernatorial posts should be done at the Office of the Regional Director in Cotabato City while the candidates for the Regional Legislative Assembly must file their COCs at the office of their respective Provincial Election Supervisors,” he said.

Yasin further said that filing should be done personally by the candidate or by his authorized representative and that “No COC shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile,” he added.

He also said that the authority of the authorized representative shall be made in writing, under oath and attached to the COC.

The PES further reminded applicants not to use titles such as Don, Datu, Doctor, Ginoo or words of similar imports in their respective COCs.

On August 8, voters in the province are set to elect one (1) governor, one (1) vice governor and six (6) legislative assembly members. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA-10)


PNP calls for continuous vigilance against criminality

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 04 (PIA) --- The Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LSPPO) has appealed to the public to remain vigilant and take a proactive role to deter crimes in the entire province.

Sr. Supt. Rodolfo Asejo Llorca, LDS Provincial Police Director, made the call after Rashid Mocado Ote was safely released by his abductors last Monday afternoon, May 2.

On April 29, Ote was driving a Mitsubishi Strada with his wife and children and traversing the national highway in Barangay Bubong, Saguiaran town, this province, when armed men flagged down his vehicle.

“But through the call of alert civilians, the vehicle was intercepted by the elements of the Saguiaran Municipal Police Station forcing the armed men to take Ote alone, leaving his wife and children,” Llorca disclosed.

Thus, Llorca urged the public to be attentive and observant with people around their respective communities.

“The public can report any suspicious people or acts to the nearest police station so that the police force can check and act on it immediately,” he said.

He added that the public can also report their concerns by texting their messages to 2920. (Apipa Bagumbaran/PIA-10)


Gunmen free abducted bizman in Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 03 (PIA) --- Police authorities confirmed that the businessman abducted three days ago was released by his captors yesterday afternoon in Piagapo town, this province.

Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Asejo Llorca, Provincial Police Director said Rashid Mocado Ote was freed at about 4:30PM on May 2 through the negotiations initiated by the Council of Elders in Piagapo, as well, as the relatives of the victim identified as Mohaimen Mangotara, H. Khalid Macatanong, Ali Mocado, Sammy Gunting and Sam Macabinta.

Ote was abducted by five (5) unidentified armed men on April 29 along the national highway in Barangay Bubong, Saguiaran town, this province.

Initial police investigation disclosed that Ote was driving his black Mitsubishi Strada without plate number but with conduction sticker BO3293 and traversing the national highway from Iligan City going to Marawi City when flagged down by a group of armed men.

The 37-year old businessman was with his wife Faida Tumimbang, five (5) children and niece when the incident happened.

Furthermore, the gunmen was onboard a gray Tamaraw FX bearing the plate LDB-957 but at gunpoint they transferred and boarded to the victim’s vehicle leaving behind the Tamaraw FX.

Llorca said the vehicle of the victim was intercepted by Saguiaran Municipal Police Station upon reaching Barangay Pindulonan, this city, prompting the gunmen to forcibly take the victim alone and fled on foot to unknown direction leaving behind the rest of the passengers.

The Provincial Director, further, said that a cousin of the victim named Acmad has an outstanding debt amounting to more or less Php10,000,000 from the relatives of the suspects.

He said the failure of Acmad to pay his debt prompted the suspects to abduct the victim to let him pay them in behalf of his cousin. (PIA-10)


Stakeholders express support for ARMM elections synchronization

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, May 02 (PIA)-- Mindanao stakeholders including the Mindanao Business Council (MBC) have expressed support to the Aquino government’s push to synchronize elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

This came out during a policy conference on electoral, governance and political reforms attended by civil society organizations (CSO), business groups, and local government officials of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi held at the Grand Menseng Hotel in Davao city last April 27-28.

“It is a sound policy to synchronize elections as it will bring stability to a conflictive region where intense politicking can erupt into clan conflicts,” said Vicente Lao, President of MBC.

With ARMM elections scheduled this coming August 8, the House of Representatives has approved a bill on synchronization and the appointment of officers in charge after the tenure of incumbents lapse on September 30, 2011.

Filing of certificates of candidacy will start May 9, 2011 together with the resumption of sessions in the Senate.

Consultations on the issue have been done in ARMM led by the CSO, followed by the Senate.

“Even before the Aquino administration, the call for substantive reforms to make autonomy genuine has been issued. Answer first unresolved governance and justice issues, such as the Ampatuan massacre, before another exhaustive electoral exercise,” said Engr. Salic Ibrahim, chairperson of Reform ARMM Now (RAN), a coalition of civil society groups in the region.

“President Aquino is dead serious in reforming ARMM which can’t be done if the status quo continues. Definitely the President wants the elections postponed,” said Secretary Ronald Llamas, Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs.

“We are also set to file a petition in the Senate to investigate massive anomalies in the ARMM regional government,” said Lowell Macabangen, a former ARMM employee whose terminal leave pay was withdrawn without his knowledge.

The ARMM employees have complained about delayed salaries and allowances under the present ARMM government.

“With the fate of the elections hanging, there is a state of disarray in the ARMM regional government and governance has been affected with us in the receiving end,” complained Rey Pelaez, President of the ARMM Employees Union.

“The Senate should act on the bill with dispatch to allay the fears and anxiety gripping ARMM,” said Pelaez.

Meanwhile Secretary Jesse Robredo disclosed that the ongoing audit of ARMM on alleged misuse of P28-B funds from 2008-2010 is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other anomalies include the non-remittance of GSIS contribution of teachers and of municipal local governments.

“If elections push through, vested interests of those who will come to power will naturally resist the reforms already initiated,” said Robredo.

The RAN coalition said it would launch a massive lobby with senators to push for the ARMM synchronization. They are targeting Senator Miguel Zubiri who is from Mindanao and Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the head of the Senate committee on local government that is hearing the bill filed by Drilon.

“We will hold a vigil camp-out within the Senate premises when session resumes,” said Ibrahim. (RAN/PIA10)