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ARMM liaison office facilitates P144-M funds for dev't projects

 • 15:41 PM Mon May 2, 2016
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Edd K. Usman/contributor
ARMM-MLO Director Jolly S. Lais (center) shares notes on peace and development in the Bangsamoro with Ms. Mamiko Nakada (2nd right) of JICA. (MLO)

MANILA -Facilitation made by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Manila Liaison Office (ARMM-MLO) has resulted in millions of pesos in development assistance flowing to the ARMM under the administration of incumbent Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman. Hataman is running for re-election on May 9 after introducing various reforms in the regional government. He is a friend and ally of President Aquino. Official data from 2012 to 2016 show the ARMM-MLO generated a total of P144,228,000 from local and foreign sources, 96 percent of which came from abroad, specifically from Turkey, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), State of Qatar, Taiwan and Singapore. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The P144.2 million figure, which amounted to P36 million annually, generated in four years has set a record in the more than 25 years of ARMM's existence. Before the Hataman administration, the average annual generated resources of the MLO reached just over P1 million coming from donations during Islam's month-long Ramadan fasting period. Inspired by the Reform Agenda pursued by the Hataman administration, the ARMM-MLO has set up its Direct Community Services in 2012. The program links with Moro communities, with civil society groups, and with various government agencies, including the military and the police in Metro Manila. The program also aims at gathering resources from local and foreign sources for the benefit of communities and constituents in the ARMM, which comprised of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi. True enough, ARMM-MLO has contributed to the Reform Agenda, not only in the form of assistance and facilitation but also in reaching out to civil society organizations and in participating in various activities involving government agencies, local government units (LGUs), and international institutions. More than 90 percent of the generated or facilitated resources by the liaison office was delivered to agencies operating in ARMM areas while the remaining amount, or around 10 percent, was utilized in Metro Manila and other areas outside autonomous region. Among those funded by foreign assistance are the acquisition of dialysis machines, hospital beds, mammograms, cryostat machines, refrigerated centerfuge machine, operating room surgical equipment, ophthalmology sets, orthopedic equipment, genaecological instruments, personal computers and printers, and other medical equipment and instruments. A portion of the foreign donation went to Hajj or pilgrimage assistance and palm dates during Ramadan The month of Ramadan, ninth in the Islamic Hegirah calendar is the annual season when Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex from sunrise to sunset.

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