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Meranao Culture

Meranao Culture
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Inspiring Stories

Inspiring Stories
Inspiring Stories

ARMM hires 800 youths for ‘Oplan Linis Bayan'

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 26 (PIA) -- At least 800 students and out-of-school youth in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will be hired this year  by the region’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under its Oplan Linis Bayan summer job program.

Emil Sadain, ARMM public works secretary, said aside from giving employment to youths this summer, the program is intended to help promote community involvement in keeping roads and other public infrastructures clean and free from obstruction.

Sadain said they have doubled the number of beneficiaries for the entire region this year to 800 from 400 in 2013.

He said summer jobbers will work in batches for 15 days and receive a salary corresponding to the region’s approved minimum wage of P250 per day.

“They will help regular employees of the agency in cleaning streets and major roads,” Sadain said.

OIplan Linis Bayan simultaneously kicked off Wednesday in different parts of the region.

Accountancy student Ferdaza Mustapha, 18, said she is “excited to work” and plans to use her salary to buy books she needs this coming school year.
“I don’t mind if people will see me street sweeping. I like to earn this summer and, at the same time, help keep our communities clean,” she said.

DPWH-ARMM has allotted 100 slots for each engineering district in the region with 60 slots for students and 40 slots for out-of-school youths. The agency also hopes that at least 30 percent of the total beneficiaries are female in keeping with the Gender and Development (GAD) code of ARMM. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/PIA-10)


Dad creates technical working group to sustain childhealth in Lanao Sur

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 25 (PIA) --- Provincial Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. has issued an executive order (EO) creating a technical working group (TWG) to formalize the implementation and sustainability of the Essential Health Care Package (EHCP).

The TWG, chaired by the Governor, will ensure synchronization and integration of policies, programs and activities to effectively carry-out the objectives of the EHCP.

EHCP is composed of three evidence-based preventive interventions to improve the health conditions of school children. It includes hand washing with soap, tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and deworming.

The program aims to make a positive change in children’s personal hygiene habits by including hand washing and tooth brushing in the daily routine of children in schools.

Other members of the TWG include representatives from the provincial government, Department of Education (DepED) Lanao del Sur and Marawi Schools Divisions, and Fit for School Project Officers.

Aside from issuing the EO, Adiong also instructed the immediate procurement of hygiene materials for EHCP-supported schools in time for the opening of classes this June.

Around 120 public elementary schools in the province are currently supported by the program. 


Lanao del Sur rowers gear up to race for Lake Lanao

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 24 (PIA) --- Twenty-five young Meranaos will make a splash in the waters of Davao City next week to send an inspiring message that nothing will hold them back to race for Lake Lanao.

With paddles in hand, rowers of Team Naga of Lanao del Sur will hit Davao waters and test their limits along with other paddlers in the First Davao City Dragon Boat Festival 2014 come May 1-4.

“This is the first team of rowers from Lanao del Sur that will compete outside of the province and in an international event,” said Noroddin Maguindanao, officer-in-charge of the Lanao Sarimanok Paddlers Association (LSPA)

Maguindanao, who also serves as the team’s coach, said Team Naga’s paddlers are from Caloocan in Marawi City. They are out-of-school youth who spent most of their time driving pedicabs or fishing in the lake.

He said they started their regular training in Caloocan three months ago with one to three hours of workout and team building routines daily. They also do jogging every Saturday.

Maguindanao disclosed that he did not encountered difficulty in motivating his team members.

“They are very eager to learn and represent Lanao del Sur. Some of them have to earn a living but they still devoted most of their time in the training. I’m supposed to inspire them but they inspire me instead with their high spirit and strong determination to bring honor to the province and to the Meranao populace,” Maguindanao said.

Dragon boat racing was introduced in Lanao del Sur in 2012 through the efforts of Ganassi town mayor Al-Rashid Macapodi. The municipal government of Ganassi hosted the first-ever Sarimanok boat clinic and exhibition in the province to bring into focus Lake Lanao and its timeless significance to the Meranao traditions and community.

The boats used in the exhibition have Sarimanok head and decorated with okir instead of the usual dragon head and scales, thus the name Sarimanok boat racing.

Sarimanok is a legendary bird that has become a symbol of Maranao art while okir is an ornamental Maranao artwork usually woven in textiles or carved into wooden boxes, sword handles and brasswares.

‘We are not doing this for the competition but to raise awareness on the true condition of Lake Lanao. Dragon boat racing is a sport suitable for Meranaos because they are, by nature, good in rowing and experts in making dragon/sarimanok boats. We are aiming for lifetime devotion for this kind sport and hoping that someday an international dragon boat race will also be held in Lake Lanao,” Maguindanao said.

Team Naga is a member of the LSPA, an organization of local rowers founded after the success of the Sarimanok boat race clinic and exhibition. Naga is a Meranao term which means dragon.

Mohaymin Ungca, a 28-year old paddler, said he joined Team Naga because he wanted to learn the art of discipline and represent his place. “I feel nervous but when we get there, we will do our best and showcase what we have practiced for the glory of Lanao del Sur, most importantly for Caloocan.

“Rowing is not only determined through a big body. While others row for fun, we do it for a living that is why we are more motivated than them,” expressed Abdullah Borasi.

Other members of Team Naga who will paddle long and strong are Sihab Mustapha, AbulKhair Mosib, Tomawis H. Amer, Ansano Baraocor, Mamad Baraocor, Anodin Molia, Manganding Sultan, SaadodinUngca, Paodac Mohamad Ali, Ashrin Dadayaan, Iman Omar, Rajeb Omar, Moad Mohamad Ali, Basher Macunti, Nasip Barasi, Mohamad Barasi, Mohalodin Rasol, Arsad Lumna, Jalal Jalil, Jamalodin Antipolo, Ashbie Badron, Salamat Mama, Ashgar Decampong, and Util Datu Moloc.

Maguindanao admitted that when he first organized the team, the funding came from his own pocket. Now, they are selling Team Naga shirts to raise funds to defray the expenses of the team in Davao.

“Dragon boat is a team sport. You look each other’s back and you support each other. That is why we are so grateful for the support the team is receiving right now,” he said.

According to him, some of their friends gave donations while Provincial Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. shouldered the registration of the team to the competition in Davao. Director Tarhata Mapandi of the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the province also committed to support the team by providing skills training scholarship to its members.

Meanwhile, the First Davao City Dragon Boat Festival 3rd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge 2014 will be held at Baywalk, Ecoland.

The competition was organized by the Philippine Dragon Board (PDBF) and Davao Dragon Boat Association (DDBA) in partnership with Davao City government.

Maguindanao said about 50 teams including international dragon boat racing enthusiasts are expected to join the competition.


LGU Marawi launches drive on efficient solid waste management

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 23 (PIA) --- The city government of Marawi has launched a program to create massive awareness on the importance of proper solid waste management.

The city’s Integrated Solid Waste Management program, which aims to instill among stakeholders the practice of waste reduction, seeks to mobilize every sector of the society to guarantee effective implementation of the program.

The program was launched at the city hall grounds on April 15, coinciding with the city’s 34th anniversary celebration when it was renamed as Islamic City of Marawi.

“Every year, we celebrate April 15 with parade, Qur’an reading contest, Kalilang and sports festivities but this year’s celebration would foster Islam and environment as an obligation of every Muslim,” said city mayor Fahad Salic.

The launching was highlighted by the signing of an Executive Order (EO) to institutionalize the structure on how the city government can push forward the program.

The EO organized the Ecological Solid Waste Management Board (ESWMB) and Technical Working Group to formulate the city’s solid waste management plan including the establishment of a materials recovery facility (MRF), sourcing and allocation of funds, formulation of solid waste management activities, and coming-up of a beautification program for the city.

Different Special Task Forces were further created to attain a maximum participation for the implementation of the integrated solid waste management program.

The city administrator, treasurer and assessor were also directed to conduct consultation with different establishments and require them, as part of the requirements for issuance of business permits, to form an association, according to the nature of their businesses, and support the plans formulated by the ESWMB.

The launching ceremony also featured awarding of certificates of appreciation to community health teams in 29 barangays of the city.

Meanwhile, the city government announced its plan to provide incentives to barangays who can effectively implement a solid waste management plan. The award for the outstanding barangay will be given during the city’s founding anniversary come August, this year.


TESDA Lanao del Sur backs ABOT-ALAM project for OSY

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 21 (PIA) --- The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Provincial Office has expressed support to the ABOT-ALAM project, a strategy that envisions zero out-of-school youth (OSY) in the province.   

TESDA Provincial Director Tarhata Mapandi voiced the support of the agency to the provincial government for the implementation of the project during its launching at the provincial capitol grounds Tuesday, April 15.   

ABOT-ALAM is a nationwide campaign with the primary goal of targeting all OSY in the country and reintegrating them into the communities to achieve zero OSY by 2016. 

Mapandi said TESDA has been very active in helping OSYs in the province.  

"We provide them free skills training and scholarships to encourage them to participate in nation building," she said.   

Mapandi further said that TESDA is currently implementing a skills training program with Synergia Foundation for 1,000 OSYs in the province.


ABOT-ALAM launched in Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 21 (PIA) --- A strategy to ensure that every out-of-school youth (OSYs) in the country will be given opportunities to become productive was launched here on Tuesday, April 15.  

Dubbed ABOT-ALAM project, this nationwide campaign targets all OSY and reintegrating them to the communities to achieve a zero percent OSY by 2016.  

Undersecretary Leon Flores III, chairman of the National Youth Commission (NYC), said ABOT-ALAM is a convergence strategy of various government agencies led by the Department of Education (DepEd), as well as the private sector so that no youth will be left behind.  

"The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro has recently been signed and the economy continues to grow creating more job opportunities. Thus, we need to reach out to the youth sector, show them that the government cares for them and convince them to go back to school for their future," he stressed during the launching of the project at the provincial capitol grounds.  

Flores said ABOT-ALAM project has two phases, registration and reintegration.  

"The first phase of the project involves building a database of all OSY. Once we have a listing, our next step is to look for ways to give them opportunities to go back to school, be employed or become entrepreneurs," he added.  

Provincial Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. was grateful Lanao del Sur was first province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to launch the ABOT-ALAM project.  

While he commended NYC and the other agencies involved in the implementation of the project, he urged them and every stakeholder to work together as one team to champion the cause of the youth sector in the province.  

"Let us help the youth become mature and responsible citizens and equip them with knowledge and skills to succeed and have a bright future," the governor said.  

The launching ceremony was also graced by officials of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Department of Social Welfare and Development provincial offices, as well as youth organizations who signified full support to the project. (APB/PIA-10)


44 scholars complete TESDA training under Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 16 (PIA) --- A total of 44 scholars in the province have completed skills training offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) under the Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program.

Datu Omar Shariff Jaafar, executive director of TESDA in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said the 44 graduates undertook programs in baking and pastry, dressmaking, electrical installation and maintenance, computer hardware servicing and automotive servicing.

“The graduates will also be given toolkits that will pave the way for them to become gainfully employed or self-employed, if they choose to do so,” he said.

The 44 graduates received their certificates of completion in a graduation ceremony held Monday, April 14, at TESDA training center, this city.

Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA) Ranao Regional Coordinator Aleem Khair Hanafi, TESDA Deputy Director General Irene Isaac, TESDA-ARMM Executive Director Jaafar, and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Director Arvin Chua attended the graduation rites.

Aleem Hanafi said the graduation ceremony is a realization of the program that signifies the desire of President Benigno Aquino III and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim to immediately deliver quick-impact projects to conflict-affected communities to reinforce confidence in the GPH-MILF peace process.

Sajahatra Bangsamoro which means “Peace Bangsamoro” is a development program intended to uplift the health, education and livelihood conditions of priorirty Bangsamoro communities and targeted individual beneficiaries through quick-gestation, high-impact and social protection-type programs and services.

It is jointly implemented by the government and the MILF through the Task Force on Bangsamoro Development and Task Force Sajahatra, respectively.

For her part, TESDA Deputy Director Isaac congratulated the graduates and stressed that peace is not only laying down of arms and stopping the armed struggles but also in terms of economic activities. “And so, we offered the training program to provide Bangsamoro communities livelihood opportunities,” she added.

OPAPP Director Chua also extended his greetings to the graduates for completing the training program.

He reiterated that Sajahatra Bangsamoro program is a clear manifestation of the sincerity of the government and the MILF to fulfil the promise of peace and prosperity in the Bangsamoro communities.

Aside from TESDA, Chua said they also partnered with other government agencies to deliver the promise of peace and development in the Bangsamoro.

The agencies involved in the implementation of the Sajahatra program are Department of Health, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


ARMM sends aid to residents displaced by conflict in Basilan

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 14 (PIA) --- The Humanitarian Emergency and Action Response Team (HEART) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is set to dispatch a 10-man team for a relief mission in Tipo-tipo, Basilan following recent skirmishes between government forces and members of the rebel Abu Sayyaf group.

“We’re sending off 400 food packs in aid for 264 families as validated by our volunteers from the area,” said Ramil Masukat, head of the regional disaster risk reduction management office.

The two-day relief mission will  provide immediate assistance over a number of house-based evacuees affected with the recent constraints.

The team, consisting of personnel from the social welfare, health, local governance, education, science department  and the ARMM-HEART operation center is anticipated to hand out food aid, Tuesday, April 15.

Food packs consisting of basic commodities such as five kilos of rice, canned goods, and other food stuff is expected to supplement family provisions while volatile situation is still closely monitored in the area.

“We are to ensure food and health situation of the evacuees will be given preferential attention, with the mandate of the ARMM-HEART, we see to it that we are always prepared to respond to situations such as this,” Masukat said. (Bureau of Public Information - ARMM/PIA-10)


DepEd moves to ensure quality education in ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 12 (PIA) --- The education department in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) is banking on a fresh approach to appraise teaching proficiency and boost quality education in the region.

Called Teachers Assessment and Competency Exam (TACE), this method requires teaching applicants to undergo competency examinations, panel interviews and teaching demonstrations. 

The applicants will be ranked based on their TACE results aside from passing the teachers licensure examination.

Dr. John Magno, DepEd-ARMM assistant secretary for operations, said this mechanism would ascertain that quality teachers will be hired for a regionally competitive ARMM.

“We would like to be at par with other region, we are in the right track and we would like to ensure quality education and we are starting with the proficiency of our educators in ARMM," he said.

DepEd-ARMM has already conducted series of competency exams to almost 500 teacher applicants from the provinces of Basilan, Maguindanao, and Tawi-Tawi.

“We are yet to finalize the schedule for Sulu which will definitely be conducted in Zamboanga City this May," said Mubarak Pandi, DepEd regional information officer.

He said TACE will serve as an equal opportunity for all applicants to cut away the ill practice of ‘palakasan’. (Bureau of Public Information-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)


DepEd-ARMM’s universal prayer composition contest on

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, April 9 (PIA) --- The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) is calling all teachers and students in the region to send entries for the department’s Universal Prayer Composition Contest.

Entries must not exceed 100 words, in English or Filipino, and must contain invocation for guidance and increase in knowledge as well as invocation for teachers, leaders and the community.

Interested participants may submit their entries to DepEd-ARMM, ORG Compound in Cotabato City on or before May 19, 2014.

Entries may also be sent online through or

The composer of the winning entry will receive a plaque of recognition and cash prize of P10,000.

The winning entry will be translated to five vernaculars and will be adopted as the universal prayer for all schools in ARMM. It will be recited during flag ceremonies and before the conduct of classes beginning school year 2014-2015.