Cotabato City (26 May 2015) – Residents in the five component provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) can now easily avail of the free services provided by the different line agencies and offices of the region with the conduct of the ARMM People’s Day at the provincial level.
Various services and forms of assistance from the ARMM government are offered for free to the public during the People’s Day. The program was started in February this year and has already been held for four times at the region’s seat in Cotabato City.
Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said the People’s Day is part of their commitment to pursue a revitalized and reformed ARMM and bring government services closer to the people.
Today, a People’s Day was held in the town of Parang in Maguindanao. Residents from the Iranun cluster of municipalities in Maguindanao were elated to avail of the free services brought by the Autonomous Regional Government.
The ARMM-Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (HEART) spearheaded the free medical and dental services, supplemental feeding, and other activities for the children and senior citizens, and legal aid. There were also free foot reflex and massage, mine risk education, instructions on how to properly wash hands and brush teeth, and distribution of personal hygiene kits.
Louisa Magbanua, 70 and resident of Parang, said she was very thankful that the programs and services offered by the regional government reached them. Receiving free medicines for a number of her ailments, she said, was really a big help.
Meanwhile, Al-Fatah Torogonan, an incoming grade five student at the Parang Elementary School, said he now knows how to properly wash his hands and brush his teeth after watching health professionals demonstrate it during the event. He said he will make it a daily habit.
Parang Mayor Ibrahim Ibay extended his gratitude to the ARMM government for the support. He said they look forward to more activities of the regional government in their municipality.
Approximately 2, 000 individuals from the municipalities of Parang, Buldon, Barira, Matanog, Kapatagan, and Balabagan availed of the free services offered.
Atty. Kirby Abdullah, ARMM convergence focal person for Maguindanao, said the activity was first in a series. The next People’s Day is set to be held in the municipality of Upi before the start of Ramadhan, which is expected to begin on 18 June 2015.
“We want to cater next the upland areas of the province. This includes the towns of North and South Upi, and Datu Blah Sinsuat,”said Matalam.
The activity was also in coordination with other institutions like the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), the Integrated Provincial Health Office -Maguindanao, Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Cotabato Chapter, Police Regional Office-ARMM, and 6th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In Tawi-Tawi, Assistant Secretary Numeiry Jalani, ARMM convergence focal person for Tawi-Tawi, spearheaded on Monday the conduct of the ARMM People’s Day at the gymnasium of the Tawi-Tawi Regional Agricultural College in the town of Bongao.
The activity was supported by the local governments of Tawi-Tawi province and Bongao municipality, NGOs and civil society organizations.
The services that were provided to the public for free included cooking/pastry-making demonstration, legal aid, basic medical services and basic assistance to small businesses.
Different regional line agencies also extended different forms of assistance to identified beneficiaries during the event:
· The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) distributed 30 units of flat banca for seaweeds production to six identified cooperatives and 25 units of non-motorized harvest boats to members of a cooperative engaged in a fishing project.
· The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided food packs to 105 displaced families and deportees from Sabah, Malaysia.
· The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed 36 Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to agrarian reform beneficiaries from three municipalities.
· The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) distributed the allowance and stipend of 400 students who took part in its summer job program in the province and the 50 graduates of its internship program.
· The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) distributed dengue mosquito ovicidal/larvacidal trap kits to residents as part of its dengue vectors surveillance system program.
Jalani said they will invite prospective employers from Zamboanga City and personnel from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in the job fair that will be held in line with the People’s Day in the province in June 2015.
A similar activity was also held in the province of Lanao del Sur on 29 April 2015 where almost 5,000 individuals availed of the free services offered. (Bureau of Public Information)