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ARMM, UN-WFP implement food-for-work program

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 29 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) distributed close to 3,000 sacks of rice and containers of palmoline oil to farmers in South Upi town in Maguindanao province, one of the  towns in the region severely hit by drought.

The distribution is under the Food-for-Work program implemented by the region’s humanitarian and emergency action response team in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP). ARMM Executive Secretary lawyer Laisa Alamia and UN-WFP Program Officer Michael Argonza led the food distribution on 28 June.

“This is just the first batch of assistance in the three barangays in South Upi that include Barangay Biarong, Lamud and Bongo, we will also implement this program in other barangays,” Atty. Alamia said.

The food-for-work program is only one response in the ARMM action plan for areas recently hit by El Niño phenomenon as well as areas expected to suffer from La Niña, which is now felt in various parts of Mindanao. The ARMM government has earmarked P7 million for the food-for-work program in South Upi alone.

Under the program, Atty. Alamia said, the government hires target beneficiaries in planting root crops and in cleaning up drainage canals and other infrastructures. Each beneficiary will be paid each month one sack of rice and palmoline oil.

The farmers will receive the assistance for three months and they will get the bulk of harvest (from the farms they planted with crops), Atty. Alamia said. She also reiterated that her office will continue to monitor the progress of the program.

Among the beneficiaries is Jonjie Leon, a 22-year old farmer, who expressed his gratitude for the aid. “Malaki po talaga tulong ng programang ito para sa amin, minsan po kasi sa pagsasaka walang kasiguraduahan kung may maiuuwi kami sa aming pamilya, pero sa ganitong klaseng programa sigurado po na may makakain ang pamilya ko araw-araw (This program helps us a lot since there is no assurance if our regular harvest would be enough to feed our family on a daily basis),” Leon said.

Prior to the food distribution, the UN-WFP already provided the same assistance in three barangays namely Barangay Looy, Romangaob and Kuya.

“With the help of the ARMM government, we send assistance to different barangays in South Upi not only to help mitigate the effects of drought but also in preparation for the impact of La Niña,” Argonza said.

Atty. Alamia said they will strengthen the disaster risk reduction management councils in all the municipalities that are severely affected by El Niño and those that would be affected by La Niña. (BPI-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)


Lanao del Sur Health Office warns public to guard against dengue

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 22 (PI) --- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) is warning the public to take precautions against dengue fever as the province heads into the rainy season when the risk of contracting mosquito-borne disease is high.

We should always observe preventive measures to stop mosquitoes from breeding, said Dr. Ali S. Descallar, senior medical consultant of the PHO during the Ozor ka, Ranao! radio program of the Philippine Information Agency.

Descallar advised residents of the province to keep their surroundings clean including canals and other areas where there are stagnant water which might be used as breeding sites by dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

He said gutters, old tires, flower vases and pots, and other containers that can hold water should also be cleaned regularly to get rid of stagnant water.

Water drums and pails should be covered all the time  and household waste materials be disposed properly, he further said.

Dengue is a tropical viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. Symptoms include high fever for two to seven days, severe headache, muscle and joint pain, pain behind the eyes, and skin rashes

In some cases, the patient may suffer from nausea, vomiting and bleeding.

Since there is no specific antibiotic or medication for dengue fever, Descallar said early clinical diagnosis and prompt treatment is very important to save lives.

He urged patients to seek medical advice in case symptoms of the disease developed

Lanao del Sur has already recorded 166 dengue cases for  the period January to June 15, this year.

Descallar said the data were gathered from the five district hospitals in the province located in the towns of Binidayan, Balindong, Tamparan, Malabang and Wao.

Other measures shared by Descallar to avoid dengue include the use of personal household protection such insect repellant, insecticides, screening of windows and doors, and wearing of long-sleeved clothes. (APB/PIA-10)


ARMM health worker to receive Bayani ng Kalusugan Award 2016

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 22 (PIA) -- A health worker from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will receive an award from the Department of Health (DoH) central office on June 23, in Manila for her excellent service in her community.

Virginia Cadano, 56, a midwife from Lamitan City in Basilan, will receive the DoH ‘Bayani ng Kalusugan Award 2016’. The award, given annually, aims at recognizing individuals, groups and organizations for exemplary work, innovation and reforms towards universal health care (UHC).

Cadano has been serving as a rural health midwife in Brgy. Limo-ok Health Center for the past 29 years. She earlier served in Jolo, Sulu for six years.

Kadil Sinolinding, DoH-ARMM Secretary, said the Bayani ng Kalusugan Award is a platform that honors and celebrates excellence in work that meets the highest standards of quality and provides satisfaction to clients. “Cadano had consistently displayed such excellence,” he added.

Since her assumption as a rural health midwife in 1987, there has been no maternal and new born child death recorded in the barangay health center where she serves.

“Kapag may nanganganak sa health center na hindi namin kaya, nire-refer po namin agad sa ospital para mabigyan sila ng utmost health care (Difficult childbirth that we could not handle is referred immediately to the nearest hospital so the mother would be given utmost health care),” Cadano said.

“Marami ring mga pasyente mula sa ibang municipalities at barangays na malapit sa amin ang gustong mag-avail ng services sa amin, tinatanggap po namin dahil public birthing facility iyon (We also attend to patients from nearby municipalities and villages since this is a public birthing facility),” Cadano added.

In June 2015, the DoH-ARMM conducted the High Impact Five (HI-5) Health Summit at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in this city. The five critical UHC programs discussed are the following: reduction of maternal deaths; improvement of infant health and reduced infant deaths; improvement of the health of children under five years old; combating human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and malaria, as well as other diseases; and implementation of a service delivery network in all areas of the region.

“UHC HI-5 is a strategy that focuses on five critical universal health care interventions such as prioritizing the poor, providing tangible outputs, which are felt through synchronized implementation of activities,” Sec. Sinolinding said.

Cadano will receive a cash prize of P200,000 and a trophy that “generally symbolizes the meaningful contribution of the awardee to move the country closer to attaining universal health care.”

Cadano attributes her success to the support the health center receives from the ARMM government, Lamitan City government unit, and even from the barangay government.

Various forms of assistance from the DoH-ARMM include the deployment of hundreds of registered midwives to far-flung barangays across the region through the ‘Midwives in Every Community in ARMM’ project. ARMM is composed of five provinces namely Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. (BPI-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)


ARMM, MTRCB to hold forum on media role in Mindanao peace process

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 17 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) will hold a forum on the role of media in the Mindanao peace process.

The event, dubbed ‘Forum on Movies and Television: Can it Bridge Peace, Mindanao and the Bangsamoro?’ will be held on June 20, in Quezon City and will bring together 30 MTRCB officials, talents, production staff, as well as movie and TV writers.

The forum will discuss topics on the role of media and MTRCB in sustaining the gains of the peace process in Mindanao and the non-stereotyping of Muslim-Filipinos towards national understanding through history, arts and culture.

Forum speakers include Sittie Jehanne Mutin, chairperson of the ARMM’s Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women; lawyer Jose Lorena, undersecretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process-Malacanang; and actor and peace advocate Robin ‘AbdulAzis’ Padilla.

Mutin said the ultimate goal of the forum is to strengthen Filipino nationalism and understanding.

"The activity will be a venue for dialogue and exchange of ideas on sustainable peace among ARMM, MTRCB and other stakeholders,” she added.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and MTRCB chairperson Eugenio Villareal will also sign on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would help bridge the gap between public perception on Muslim culture and way of life by correcting media’s common misconceptions.

MTRCB board members Maria Lourdes Lilia Supnet and Jay Revestir, chairperson Mutin and ARMM-Manila laiason officer Jolly Lais will witness the signing ceremony.

The MoU will commit the two parties to conduct collaborative media literacy symposia involving MTRCB, the ARMM, and media practitioners including film directors, producers and writers.

The ARMM and the MTRCB will also launch education campaigns that would increase public awareness on the role of women in nation-building and the Magna Carta of Women on film and to uphold, preserve and advance the cultural beliefs, practices and values of the Muslim community

The MTRCB will also hold ‘Matalinong Panonood’ – a series of seminars on public information and education initiatives to correct the depiction of the Muslim community in movies and television. (Bureau of Public Information/APB/PIA-10)

ARMM ready for implementation of senior high school program

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 17 (PIA) -- The Education Department in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) is now ready for the implementation of the senior high school program, the centerpiece of the new K to 12 basic education system.

Out of 304 public secondary schools in the region, the DepEd-ARMM has already identified a total of 156 that offer senior high school program. The region is expecting around 35,000 Grade 11 students this school year, the pioneering batch of senior high school students.

This year’s program covers the last two years of the K to 12 and includes Grades 11 and 12. In senior high school, students will go through a core curriculum and subjects under a track of their choice.

It will allow students to choose from specific tracks namely: academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, arts and design, and sports. These tracks will prepare future graduates should they decide to pursue higher education (college), seek immediate employment, or become entrepreneurs.

Marjuni Maddi, DepEd-ARMM’s assistant secretary for academics, admitted there are still problems in the implementation of the program such as lack of teachers as well as classrooms that are still under construction.

“Yes, we still have problems but we are doing our best to accommodate the students and we assure them (we would) fix these problems as soon as we can,” Asec Maddi said.

“On June 13, the first day of school, we actually visited schools to see the students’ situation,” he added.

Asec. Maddi said the department will also fill up 933 senior high school teaching positions this year.

The expected salaries of senior high school teachers will range from P19,940 to P39,493 monthly. Applicants will be ranked according to DepEd’s criteria for evaluation and selection process.

Early this year, the ARMM’s Public Works and Highways department started constructing 819 classrooms for senior high school. “Ang mga classrooms na ipapatayo ay para sa full implementation ng K to 12 program sa ARMM (The classrooms to be constructed are for the full implementation of K to 12 program in ARMM),” DepEd-ARMM Secretary Dr. John Magno said.

The projects are worth more than P1 billion from DepEd-ARMM’s 2015 Basic Education Facilities Fund. The Division of Maguindanao I will receive the largest number of projects with 165 classrooms worth more than P158 million. (Bureau of Public Information/APB/PIA-10)

DepEd Marawi ready for school opening

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 9 (PIA) --- The Marawi City Schools Division is prepared for the opening of classes despite the expected shortage of classrooms for senior high schools.

There’s no need to worry because we have contingency plans to address the shortage, said Assistant Superintent Ana Zenaida Unte in Ozor ka, Ranao radio program of the Philippine Information Agency aired June 7 over DxSO Radyo ng Bayan Marawi.

Unte admitted that school buildings and classrooms for senior high students are yet to be completed but they have alternative measures to ensure the implementation of the senior high school program.

She said their senior high school implementers will be using their respective faculty rooms, science rooms and computers rooms for the incoming senior high school students.

The four schools who will offer the senior high school program are Marawi City National High School (NHS), Angoyao NHS, RPMD Science High School and the Lake Lanao NHS.

Our schools and our teachers are definitely ready, assured Unte.

She said their teachers are trained for the K to 12 implementation and have undergone trainings, teaching demonstrations and teachers assessment and competency examination (TACE).

Last week, the Marawi City Schools Division together with parents, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), and others stakeholders conducted a series of clean-up activities in the public elementary and secondary schools in the city in preparation for the opening of classes.

The Marawi Schools Division has 66 elementary public schools, 18 primary schools, seven secondary schools, one science high school and 45 private schools.

Unte said the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) also extended assistance in the form of construction materials and other facilities to 11 schools in the city. (APB/PIA-10)

DOH confers Red Orchid Award to three ARMM line agencies

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 8 (PIA) --- The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DoH-ARMM) conferred three regional line agencies with the Red Orchid Award.

These agencies are the Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology – a two time awardee, and the Regional Planning and Development Office – an awardee for three consecutive years and thus considered a hall of famer.

The Red Orchid Award is an annual search for 100 percent Tobacco-Free Environment in government offices, hospitals and local government units (LGUs). To qualify, the agency, hospital, or LGUs must first submit their self assessment forms to the regional DoH-Center for Health Development for screening and validation.

Upon checking, the DoH will provide technical assistance including orientation and environment checking. When nominated, the DoH national office will conduct validation and award the identified office based on the standards provided by the agency.

The DoH Red Orchid Award winners are judged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment using the World Health Organization MPOWER initiative.

MPOWER is an acronym that denotes the six proven tobacco control policies, namely: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and, Raise taxes on tobacco.

Awardees will receive trophies and certificates of recognition. For LGUs which attained hall-of-famer status, or those awarded for three consecutive years, an additional P500,000 would be granted to be utilized for their anti-smoking programs and campaigns.

Also awarded in the ARMM were the LGUs of Taraka and Wao in Lanao del Sur and the Tamparan District Hospital also in the same province. The awarding was held on June 1 in Cotabato City.

Joery Delumpia Amad, assistant nurse coordinator of the Health department’s tobacco prevention and control program, said cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.

She said smoking leads to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and is the primary cause of lung cancer.

Amad said the agency is targeting a 100 percent tobacco-free ARMM. She encouraged government offices to apply for the Red Orchid Award. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)


ARMM to hire 933 senior high school teachers

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 8 (PIA) --- The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) said it would fill 933 senior high school teaching positions this year.

Mobarak Pandi, regional information officer of DepEd-ARMM, said the department is working on the selection process for the applicants.

DepEd-ARMM has administered an English Proficiency Examination for 1,216 applicants last June 1, 2016.

Successful applicants will be hired for teaching positions in senior high schools in the schools divisions of Maguindanao I and II, Lanao del Sur I and II and Marawi City.

The expected salaries of senior high school teachers will range from P19,940 to P39,493. Applicants will be ranked according to DepEd’s criteria for evaluation and selection process. The region’s Education department also assured it would follow general guidelines for the hiring and placement of successful applicants.

The schools divisions of Lamitan City, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi also administered a similar examination for their applicants on June 1. The applicants had to go through a process that includes teaching demonstration, panel interview, and intensive screening of their pertinent papers such as transcript of records, overall average rating in college, and other credentials.

Dr. John Magno, ARMM Education Secretary, had earlier affirmed that the processes being undertaken would guarantee that only good quality teachers will be hired in order for students to have a ‘progressive future.’

More than 560 elementary and junior high teachers has recently signed their appointment papers and deployment orders in the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. (BPI-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)


ARMM provides humanitarian assistance to displaced families in Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 3 (PIA) --- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government through its Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) provided on June 1, relief assistance to around 2,000 families displaced by a military operation against a local rebel group in Butig town, Lanao del Sur.

ARMM Vice-Governor Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman said residents who have fled the fighting are taking temporary shelter at different evacuation centers in the towns of Lumbanayage, Masiu, and in Marawi City.

He said that although there has been no civilian casualty reported, close to 2,000 families have been displaced with most of them coming from the six barangays in the municipality which include Barangay Bayabao, Poktan, Ragaya, Kuluyan, Samer and Sandag.

He said the ARMM government saw the need to provide humanitarian aid to the affected families considering their hardship.

Lucman headed the humanitarian and relief operation that included the distribution of food packs and medicines and conduct of free medical services.

He said the region’s health department will also be closely monitoring the general health and sanitary conditions in the evacuation centers.

He said the evacuees still fear returning to their homes even if the fighting has already subsided.

“The ARMM is ready to provide the necessary humanitarian intervention in the face of this conflict,” he said. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)

DOST-ARMM opens scholarship programs for SY 2017-2018

MARAW CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 2 (PIA) -- The Department of Science and Technology in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOST-ARMM) announced the opening of application for its Science and Technology (S&T) scholarship programs for school year 2017-2018.

DOST-ARMM Secretary Myra Mangkabung said they are offering three scholarship programs to qualified students in the region. It includes the admission to the Philippine Science High School System (PSHS), the Junior Level Science Scholarship (JLSS) Program, and the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP).

She is encouraging all interested applicants to visit the DOST-ARMM office inside the ARMM Compound in Cotabato City or any of their provincial offices to inquire about the scholarship programs and avail of application forms and brochures.

Philippine Science High School System

As stated in Republic Act No. 3661, the Philippine Science High School (PSHS), more commonly known as Pisay, was established “to offer on a free scholarship basis a secondary course with special emphasis on subjects pertaining to the sciences with the end view of preparing its students for a science career.”

Its scholarship program is intended for incoming Grade 7 students who belong to the upper 10 percent of the graduating class as certified by the school principal or those who have special aptitude in science and mathematics.

To qualify, an applicant must have a final grade of 85 percent or better in Science and Mathematics; must be a Filipino citizen with no pending or approved application; be born on or after August 1, 2002; must have at least a satisfactory rating (or its equivalent) in his/her Character Rating in his/her report card; not have taken the PSHS examination previously;  and preferably be in good health and fit to undergo a rigorous academic program.

The PSHS entrance examination will be administered on October 22, 2016.

Junior Level Science Scholarship Program

Sec. Mangkabung said they’re also offering a scholarship program to third year college students who are currently enrolled in DOST’s priority science and technology courses such as in the field of engineering, basic and applied sciences, and are willing to teach in secondary schools in the country after graduating.

She said the program aims to strengthen the country's science and technology education by helping qualified students finish their degree and encouraging them to impart their knowledge on science, mathematics, and engineering through teaching.

"Our department (DOST-ARMM) really wants to produce quality teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects," she added.

She said graduates of this program will be given priority job placement in secondary schools or will be employed by the Department of Education in a position equivalent to Special Science Teacher I in the Philippine Science High School.

They are also allowed to teach even without the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) eligibility, but has to pass the LET within five (5) years from the date of hiring.

JLSS program beneficiaries are awarded tuition and other school fees amounting to P10,000 per semester or P8,000 per trimestral term; book allowance amounting to P10,000 per year, P6000 monthly stipend for BS Physics, Applied Physics, Physics Teaching, Geology and Mining Engineering and P5,000 monthly allowance for other priority courses, transportation allowance and  group insurance coverage worth of P200,00.

The deadline for filing of application this year is on October 15.

Graduate Scholarships Program

Sec. Mangkabung said the DOST is set to grant scholarships to graduates in the region who want to pursue a Master's or Doctorate (MS and PhD) degree in various science and technology areas. The program is being implemented through the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program.

"This program aims to boost the global competitiveness for S&T researchers, and produce top-level human resources through provision of scholarship for Master’s and Doctorate degrees," she said.

She said they offer two types of graduate scholarships: the University-based MS/PhD program and Thesis/Dissertation grant support for priority areas of the DOST.

The scholarship awardees may choose from any of the following priority fields of study which includes Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources, Biological Sciences, Biotechnology, Chemical Sciences, Earth, Atmospheric and Space Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Fisheries and Marine Science, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Pure and Applied Mathematics, Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Pure and Applied Physics. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)

DOH-ARMM warns public on dengue, water-borne diseases

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 1 (PIA) --- The Department of Health of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOH-ARMM) has advised residents in the region to take precautionary measures against dengue and water-borne diseases now that the wet season has officially started.

Christine Joy Capin, DOH-ARMM assistant program coordinator for dengue prevention and control and food and water-borne diseases, said the region normally sees a rise in the number of dengue cases during the rainy season and they are taking steps to reduce the number of infection this year.

“Residents should observe different measures to combat the spread of the disease. Some of the things they should do includes drying stagnant waters in the house, cleaning their roof gutters, immediately seek medical assistance when fever lasts for at least two days, and using insect repellants and wearing long sleeve shirts,” Capin said.

She said the DOH-ARMM is currently conducting an extensive information drive in schools and communities in the region to help minimize the number of dengue cases. She said they are encouraging residents to observe the “4S” mechanisms in dengue prevention and control.

The “4S” means Search and destroy; Seek immediate action; Say no to indiscriminate fogging; and Self-protection measures.

Dengue is an acute viral infection acquired from the bite of a female Aedes aegypti mosquito. This fatal disease usually affects infants and children in tropical and subtropical countries like the Philippines. Its signs and symptoms include fever which extends from two to seven days, skin flushing, loss of appetite, vomiting, and in severe cases, nose bleeding and bleeding of gums.

The DOH-ARMM has recorded 78 dengue cases with one fatality in the entire ARMM during the first quarter of this year.

Capin said the number is significantly lower compared to the first quarter of 2015, where 487 cases with five fatalities were reported. They have recorded a total of 2,376 cases with 24 deaths across the region in the same year. Marawi City recorded the highest number of cases with 758 followed by Maguindanao province with 614 cases.

Moreover, Capin also cautioned residents against common water-borne diseases like diarrhea, amoebiasis, hepatitis A, and cholera. She added that cold and cough are also very common during the rainy season.

She said observing cleanliness and being vigilant help reduce the chance of contacting any of these diseases.

“Observe proper hand washing before and after meals and also wash the fruits and vegetables you eat,” Capin said. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)

Brigada Eskwela kicks off in ARMM

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, June 1 (PIA) --- Education Secretary Dr. John Magno of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) led a series of cleanup activities in different public elementary and high schools in the coastal areas of Datu Odin Sinsuat town, Maguindanao to mark the start of the annual weeklong school maintenance activity dubbed 'Brigada Eskwela.’

Magno said that aside from the cleanup drive, this year’s ‘Brigada Eskwela’ will also give emphasis on school disaster-preparedness and readiness for the implementation of the K to 12 program.

He said they want to make sure that schools in the ARMM are safe and conducive to education.

The 2016 ‘Brigada Eskwela’ or National Schools Maintenance Week carries the theme "Tayo Para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos, at Handa Mula Kindegarten Hanggang Senior High School" (All of us for safe and proper schools, and ready from Kindergarten to Senior High School) and aims to unite communities in ensuring a better future for Filipino children.

Magno said the region’s education officials and teachers are working with parents, barangay officials, students and other volunteers to clean and prepare schools in time for the opening of classes on June 13.

"We are happy and grateful for the annual ‘Brigada Eswela’ and the support that we get from the DepEd-ARMM," said Tukan Mangulamas, a supply officer at the second schools division of Maguindanao.

The Australian Government-funded BEAM (Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao)-ARMM program has earmarked P8.9 million this year for minor repairs of classrooms in 225 public elementary and high schools as well as the provision of chairs and tables to 53 madaris (Islamic school).

The BEAM-ARMM will also provide curriculum guide, teacher's guide and learning materials.

“The DepEd-ARMM and BEAM have helped us improve our schools and encourage children to attend classes," Evelyn Kanain, Senior High coordinator of the Schools Division of Sulu.

Kanain said the assistance from BEAM-ARMM will improve the quality of education in various schools not only in Sulu but in the entire region as well.

Disaster preparedness activities will be integrated in the education program of public schools to better prepare students in the events of typhoons, floods and other natural calamities.

Brigada Eskwela was started in 2003 and has three main objectives such as to practice shared governance; to bring the spirit of education to the community level and to utilize local resources to public schools. (BPI/APB/PIA-10)