Mindanao Newsbits for December 22,2013

Kalasag Award


DAVAO CITY – Adjudged for having the best Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) in Region-11, another Kalasag Award, the fifth in a row, was conferred on the province of Davao Oriental during the recent 15th Gawad Kalasag Awarding Ceremony here. The award was handed over by Civil Defense 11 Regional Director Loreto Rirao to Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon. The PDRRMC in Davao Oriental was cited for the establishment and mobilization of its Central Incident Command Post (CICP) that serves as the center for coordination, information and communication for all emergency relief operations. Three more Incident Command Posts (ICPs) were instituted in municipalities to quickly reach far-flung villages whenever calamities would strike. (Alexander Lopez)


A.R.M.M. Savings

COTABATO CITY – Once berated by the Aquino government for its being a “failed experiment” due to alleged gross corrupt practices and mismanagements, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has gradually evolved to a “competitive” geopolitical unit of the country, incumbent ARMM officials said in their yearend reports. The feat even became spectacular when the ARMM’s Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported having mustered in 2012 and 2013 some P1-billion fund savings from their reform initiatives on administrative and operational expenditures. Various sectors, including the local media, were surprised that the savings were generated by the regional DepEd and DPWH offices, which were both perceived as the region’s most corrupt agencies. (Ali Macabalang)


Joint Conference


DAVAO CITY – The recently concluded joint conference organized by the Palawan State University and the University Malaysia has gained positive results and drew the attention of high-ranking officials of the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Malaysia the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
The gathering, dubbed BIMP-EAGA Conference (BEC), was joined by more than 200 participants mostly from Mindanao and Palawan. The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said that BIMP-EAGA leaders have underscored the role of the academe in sustaining the socio-economic growth and development in the sub-region. “It’s assuring to know that we have this pool of experts who may undertake social and scientific researches that will help our policy and decision makers craft the right policies that will help us fortify BIMP-EAGA’s four strategic pillars of development,” said Luwalhati Antonino, MiDA chairperson, who spoke before the delegates. (Alexander Lopez)


Weather Devices


GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Region-12 office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-12) is set to complete the installation of some 50 weather tracking devices within strategic areas in Central Mindanao. DOST-12 Director Zanaida Laidan said the weather tracking equipment consisted of 39 units of automated rain gauge (ARG), and 12 water level monitoring systems (WLMS). She said the DOST personnel have already established 16 ARGs, and 4 WLMS in various places in North Cotabato early this month. She added that construction works are ongoing for the establishment of nine ARGs, and three WLMS in South Cotabato, 10 ARGs and three WLMS in Sultan Kudarat, and four ARGs, and one WLMS in Sarangani (Joseph Jubelag)


Muslim Cemeteries


COTABATO CITY – Three-term Assemblyman Khadafe Mangudadatu of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is pushing for a regional law establishing public cemeteries for Muslims in all of the ARMM’s 117 towns. Mangudadatu, representing the 2nd District of Maguindanao to the 24-seat Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA), said he is optimistic of his colleagues’ unanimous support to an enabling bill he would file in next year’s first regular session here. Majority if not all towns in the ARMM do not have public cemeteries owing to the locals’ centuries-old tradition of burying their dead in private lots and backyards. (Ali Macabalang)

ARMM bares P1B savings for the year

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Residents of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao saw this year, for the first time since the entity’s inception in 1990, the accumulation of more than P1 billion worth of savings in the ARMM’s coffer.


Various communities were also suprised that the savings were generated by the ARMM’s education, and public works departments, once deemed the region’s most corrupt agencies.


ARMM folks also witnessed this year how the present administration made open to representatives of various civil society organizations and the media the bidding processes for the procurement of equipment and supplies, and service provision contracts amounting more than P1 billion, in keeping with its transparency policy in handling of peace and development funds.


Residents of ARMM, which covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, have been used to corrupt practices in the regional bureaucracy.


President Benigno Aquino III had earlier labelled as “failed experiment” the now 23-year ARMM owing to its failure to foster peace and sustainable development in its territory, despite the huge grants and infrastructure subsidies the national government had poured into the region.


The ARMM, which originally covered only Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, and Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, was created through a plebiscite in 1990 as an answer to the quest of Southern Moro communities for self-governance under the international right to self determination (RSD) doctrine.

Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1


The autonomous region was subsequently expanded through another referendum in 2001, which resulted in the amendment of its charter, from Republic Act 6743 to R.A. 9054, and the fusion of Basilan and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi into its territory.


ARMM officials believe that the graft-ridden regional bureaucracy could still be reformed, even if the region faces possible replacement with a new Bangsamoro political entity if the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front strike a final peace compact by 2014.


ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman, who first sat as an appointed caretaker of ARMM in December 2011 and got elected as regional governor during the May polls, said he is keen on turning over fully implemented projects, fund savings, and all assets of the autonomous region to the government and the MILF peace panels before the 2016 elections.


“Hopefully, by then, we can show to the whole nation and the whole world that the ARMM has done something good for its constituents and that the region could have taken off if only managed properly since its onset more than 20 years ago,” Hataman said.


Hataman said he and members of his regional cabinet are ready to vacate their posts if a final GPH-MILF peace accord is required to enable a smooth transition from the present ARMM to the new Bangsamoro political entity, which is also to be established through a plebiscite in its proposed territory.


Part of the funds saved by the Hataman administration the past 11 months had been spent for the procurement of road-building equipment for the region’s eight district engineering offices.


In November, the office of the ARMM’s public works secretary, Hadji Emil Sadain, saved P520,000 more from a public bidding process for P363-million worth of infrastructure projects in Maguindanao and Basilan.


“We are glad with this kind of handling of infrastructure funds by the Hataman administration. There is transparency and accountability,” said Vice-Mayor Roderick Furigay of Lamitan City, the capital of Basilan.


Furigay on Wednesday said Hataman and other regional officials awarded 226 students from Lamitan and surrounding Basilan towns scholarship grants for school year 2014 under the ARMM's “Iskolar Para sa Pagbabago” program, also the region’s first.


“More than 20 of the scholars taken in are from Lamitan City. This is something we have not experienced before,” Furigay said.


The ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways, which is being managed jointly by Hataman and Sadain, first generated early this year P136 million savings from unspent project grants and allocations for maintenance and operating expenses.


Residents also lauded the ARMM’s Department of Education saved P900 million worth of unspent operating funds and salaries for its rank-and-file personnel in recent months.


Hataman and his education secretary, Jamar Kulayan, had delisted thousands of ghost teachers from the payrolls of DepEd-ARMM.


The two officials also suspended the release of operation subsidies to dozens of non-existent schools that were used as "conduits" for anomalous grants by past regional officials. (John Unson)


ARMM awards 9 infra projects to bidders

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - The bidding process for nine new infrastructure projects worth P363 million has helped the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao saved money.


The contracts for the projects --- reblocking of damaged portions of highways in Maguindanao, concreting of roads in the second district of the province, and construction of roads and seaports and a water system in Basilan --- were awarded to winning bidders last November 29.


Hadji Emil Sadain, regional public works secretary of ARMM, said the bidding process for the nine projects, made open to the media and representatives of different civil society organizations in the autonomous region, resulted in savings worth P520,000.


Sadain said they will seek clearance from the national government to spend the savings either for other projects, or for the procurement of engineering equipment.


Sadain said the program of works and all tranches of funds to contractors implementing the nine projects will be open to media scrutiny.


The ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways, whose coffer is being managed jointly by Sadain, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, and auditors from the Commission on Audit, earlier saved P136 million from unspent project funds it received from the national government from early 2012 to middle of 2013.


Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Hataman's office, the Office of the Regional Governor, exercises ministerial control over more than a dozen line agencies devolved by the national government, and more than 20 other support offices.


The P136 million the DPWH had earlier saved was spent, with permission from COA and the Department of Budget and Management, for the procurement of road building and maintenance equipment for the district engineering offices in the autonomous region.


The autonomous region covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi. (John Unson)

DPWH, overall champion in inter-agency friendship games


Cotabato City - The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) emerged again as this year’s overall champion in the friendship games among agencies of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in celebration of the 113th Philippine civil service anniversary.
DPWH-ARMM was also the overall champion in last year’s inter-agency games. The agency garnered the highest accumulated points given its lead in almost all events.
The Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) tied in the 1st runner up with either agency garnering 60.5 percents.
Officials and employees of DPWH-ARMM including the audience were in high spirit during Thursday’s awarding ceremony in Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex inside the ARMM compound, cheering: “Hindi lang pang-infra, pang-sports pa!”
Emil Sadain, DPWH-ARMM secretary, said their victory depict the dedication and morale of the agency’s workers.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued separate commendations this week, lauding DPWH-ARMM and Sadain for the prudent utilization of the agency’s 2012 generated savings. (BPI-ARMM/JoHenry)

Continuing Development in the ARMM with Contract Signing of Infra Projects and Procurement of Goods

The DPWH-ARMM, which is very preoccupied with its mandate to carry the infrastructure development programs in the ARMM, is facing another busy days ahead as it enter into contracts through the Office of the Regional Governor with two (2) contractors on November 12, 2013 at the ORG Office.


Subject to the signing of contracts are two (2) infra projects for Basilan Province:


1. Construction of Road from Lamitan Proper Bgy. Kulay Bato-Bgy. Bulanting-Bgy. Semnut, Akbar, Phase I (1.250 km., P19,400,000.00)


2. Construction of 2.5 km Sironggon-Buton Road, Muhammad Ajul (P43,650,000.00)


The projects, with an ABC of P63,050,000.00, funder under CY 2013 ARMM Regular Infra Fund, and fall under Contract Package 4G will be implemented through Design and Build Contract Scheme.


The project will be awarded to RBCJ Ventures.


Basilan, being an impoverish province, is in the top list of DPWH-ARMM for its Infrastructure Development Program. Several infra a project for the province is in the pipelines for implementation for the next succeeding years.


Another contract to be signed is the Supply and Delivery of Motor Vehicles, under the 3rd Tranche Procurement of Goods. The procurement of goods include two (2) 4x4 pick-up, with an ABC of P2, 704,000.00. The contract will be signed with the winning bidder, MTL GENSAN MOTORS, INC...


The supply and delivery of the two pick-up vehicles will further augment the number of the fleet of newly procured service vehicles of DPWH-ARMM. (MIS)


Hindi na maaring dumaan sa Quirino Bridge ng Cotabato city ang 4 wheels at pataas na mga sasakyan simula December 1, 2013.

Ito ang naging desisyon ng Department of Public Works and Highways o DPWH-12 at DPWH-ARMM sa ginawang pakikipagpulong sa City government kahapon.

Ayon kay Secretary to the city mayor Anecito Boy Rasalan, masyado na kasing delikadong daanan ang Quirino bridge sa ngayon batay na rin sa pinakahuling inspeksyon ng DPWH.

Aniya, nasa 5 tons ang loading capacity ng Quirino Bridge sa ngayon pero ibababa na ito sa 2.5 tons loading capacity sa unang araw ng Disyembre.

Nabatid na hindi pa rin tapos hanggang sa ngayon ang Matampay Bridge 2 kaya hindi pa rin ito maaaring madaanan.

Ipinaliwanag ni Rasalan na masyado namang makitid daanan ang RS Buan para sa malalaking sasakyan.

Dahil dito, inaasahan ng City government na dadaan na ang lahat ng mga sasakyan mula Davao Region, North Cotabato, Zamboanga Region, Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur at iba pang lugar na papasok ng Cotabato city via Datu Paglas, Maguindanao na masyado namang malayo para sa mga biyahero at mga motorista.

DPWH gains in ARMM feted

Cotabato City — Incumbent officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao commemorated the 23rd anniversary of Malacañang’s devolution to the ARMM governance of the Department of Public Works and Highways, starting with the launching here Monday of the DPWH regional management information system (MIS) to beef up its trailblazing operations.

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ARMM gov’t offices urged to emulate DPWH-ARMM’s feat

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has directed government line agencies to emulate the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-ARMM) which gained national recognition for its prudent use of its 2012 generated savings.


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DPWH-ARMM saves P500T from stringent procurement process

What used to be the “second most corrupt” department in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao saved P500,000 out of a P2.4 million procurement transaction via a bidding process witnessed by representatives of local sectors and the media.


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DPWH-ARMM saves P.5 M in equipment deal

MANILA, Philippines - What used to be tagged as the second most corrupt agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has saved P500,000 in the procurement of equipment through a bidding process.


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