Sec Andanar cites resiliency, unity, hope in visit to Marawi City

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar cited messages of resiliency, unity and hope amidst war during his visit to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) operation center in Iligan City on 13 October 2017.

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Secretary Andanar shared in an interview with the media that he came personally to get first hand updates of recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City and emphasized the message of resiliency, unity and hope among Filipinos in this time of crisis.

During his visit, Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary and chairman of TFBM Cesar Yano said that through the sub-committee on reconstruction, there had been site development on transitional shelters at barangay Sagongsongan in Marawi City. In fact, there is already an ongoing construction of initial 1,100 units of these shelters by four groups in three months which started on 8 September 2017.

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The local government of Marawi and Mindanao State University (MSU) also assisted in the identification of 14 hectares of land for temporary shelters and permanent housing. There is also an ongoing inventory on internally displaced persons (IDPs) relocation preference and prioritization of IDPs for relocation with local government unit (LGU).

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In terms of health and social welfare, there had been a total of 108,028 medical consultations in 54 municipalities such as Tamang Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (TsekAP) services by the Department of Health (DOH). Aside from that, 68,289 individuals already received psychosocial services in 38 municipalities; the government has also provided evacuation centers with potable water and construction/installation of toilets, washing and bathing facilities. Further, 438, 440 IDPs received nutrition services in 51 municipalities.

On the other hand, relief assistance had been distributed to 78, 466 displaced families or 359, 680 displaced individuals, distribution of tents to decongest evacuation centers and early rehabilitation and recovery program through sustainable projects such as communal gardening and food production.

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Yano admitted that although the Maranaos are not used to gardening because they are more of trading and selling, they have learned to appreciate communal gardening as this makes their time useful in temporary shelters and evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, in terms of sustaining peace, the TFBM has created the technical working group to manage the return of IDPs; meanwhile trained policewomen had been deployed to counter violent extremism; and PNP posts has been established in evacuation and transition areas. According to Usec Yano, there has also been a culture of peace orientation to the youth IDPs in Iligan City and focus group discussion of women, peace and security among others.

Online war against terrorism

Among the itinerary of Secretary Andanar was a meeting with the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division of the Philippine Army in Marawi City who leads the war against terrorists in Marawi City.

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Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera in a presentation shared efforts of the Tabak Division in countering massive online production and information dissemination of videos and other materials about violent extremism. He said that apart from the battle on the ground, they are also fighting another battle in the internet against violent extremism.

He said that through their training, they have successfully taken down numerous sites online that are detected to be that of the violent extremist group producing videos which would invite and ignite violent extremism especially to the youth.

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He said that social media is one of the means the terrorist group use to recruit new members. Among the targeted sectors include the youth and even professionals.

Lt. Col. Herrera revealed that since the start of the war, they have strengthened their online presence. They have produced materials to explain the war and their efforts to fight terrorists in the area. They have also posted various news and articles about bravery of soldiers in the battle field and also soldiers who are helping Maranao civilians, among others.

These stories have helped in shaping up the image of soldiers, he said.

Establishment of Salaam TV and Radio

One of the final areas that Secretary Andanar visited was the MSU in Marawi City. He had a chance to speak with President Dr. Habib Macaayong and the rest of the top management of the school to share some good news.

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He shared that as the head for the Strategic Communications and Information Management group of the TFBM, the budget for the creation of Salaam TV and radio has been approved.

The secretary said that this TV and radio station is dedicated for the Muslim community, to give them a voice and share their stories to the rest of the country and the world.

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The proposed location for the said TV and radio station is in MSU and is expected to commence before the year ends or in 2018. (JMOR/PIA10)

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MSU-IIT hosts ‘Innovation Convergence’ forum

As part of its efforts to build an avenue for innovation and collaboration in this city and nearby provinces, the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) has hosted yesterday an Innovation Convergence forum for the city officials, faculty and students, and the Iligan City Information Communication Technology Council.

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Undersecretary for management operations Monchito Ibrahim of the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) management operations, DICT-10 Regional Director Evamay Dela Rosa, Executive Director Samhel Guevara of Philippine Development Foundation (PhilDev) Foundation and Alea Ladaga of QBO Philippines served as speakers in said forum.

In his message, MSU-IIT Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol said that “in the context of conflicts, creating innovative researches and products should not be the priority, but rather the improvement of business products and services for the people to help them get a better life.

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Underscoring the initiatives of MSU-IIT such as iDEYA and FABLAB Mindanao, Ibrahim said, “there is a need to create a space for things especially for students to create and enhance their ideas that will eventually solve the problems in our society.”

“Having a strong innovation is essential as it is one of the elements that will help the Philippines to be one of the global leaders of digital economy,” the undersecretary pointed out.

Prof. Darwin Manubag, who represented the ICT council, discussed the proposed plans and roadmaps such as the freelancing industry, home-grown information technology-business process outsourcing sector, information technology-business process management companies, and 3D animation or game development, among others.

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In an interview with PhiDev Executive Director Samhel Guevara, he said that with the memorandum of understanding with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technopreneurship 101 course will become requireda course in all national engineering colleges next year. 

PhilDev is a nonprofit organization working to help eradicate poverty in the country through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The forum carries the theme, “Soaring with Innovation for Resiliency.” (LEAntonio, PIA 10 – ILGN/LDN)

***photos from MSU-IIT fb page https://www.facebook.com/ilitech/***

Opening of classes in Iligan, Lanao del Norte unhampered – DepEd-10 chief

Amid rumors to postpone the opening of classes in this city and Lanao del Norte due to the Marawi crisis, Regional Director Allan G. Farnazo of the Department of Education (DepEd)-10 has clarified that the classes of all public schools in the area officially began on June 5.

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Director Farnazo together with Schools Division Superintendent Randolph Tortola visited the different schools here yesterday to see for themselves the opening of classes and the condition of the internally displaced learners at the evacuation centers.

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“We went to the different schools in region 10. In fact, we reached as far as Pantar in Lanao del Norte, which is just eight kilometers away from Marawi City, and we saw they were holding classes there, Farnazo said.

“In Pantar they’re having an inventory of 156 Grade 11 students, and we found them already enrolled. One hundred thirty-one of them were present when visited there,” Farnazo added.

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Farnazo reiterated the commitment aired by Education Secretary Leonor Briones to provide transportation allowance for Marawi teachers who would come to Iligan to teach internally displaced learners.

“There should be no compromises for education. Whatever is happening somewhere or wherever, we cannot sacrifice education, otherwise we will complement the problem if we will not make the children better educated,” Farnazo concluded. (lvgabule/PIA Iligan & Lanao del Norte)

 

Navy offloads military vehicles, supplies in Iligan City

Philippine Navy offloads at Iligan City port military vehicles and other supplies, which will be distributed to the different Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units in Mindanao to cater to the transport and logistical requirements of the ongoing military operations against terrorists.

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According to BRP Tarlac (LD-601) Commander Ramilo B Trinidad, for this mission, LD 601 accommodated 30 military vehicles and supplies weighing 253 tons. The ship sailed from Subic Bay, Zambales last May 29.

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Trinidad said the ship, with its capability to accommodate more than 4000 tons of cargo and 500 personnel onboard, is utilized not only to support military operations, and also for mass evacuation and international humanitarian assistance during disasters and crisis as well.

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LD 601), is the first of the two Philippine Navy’s Amphibious Landing Dock formerly known as Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV). The ship design is modeled after the Makassar-class LPD of the Indonesian Navy. BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602 is the second and last ship of her class of Navy’s landing platform docks. (PIA10)

Iligan evacuation centers cater to Marawi IDPs

Three evacuation centers in Iligan CIty, Lanao del Norte particularly  Buruun City National School of Fisheries, Ma. Christina Gymnasium and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) who are catering to evacuees from Marawi city are being manned by the Iligan local government unit (LGU) and providing food to the different Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

In an interview with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-10 Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos yesterday, May 26, there were 296 families registered duly validated number of families of two evacuation centers in Iligan City. 

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But there are still families who opt to stay with their relatives in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro city but still for further verification, he said.

Meantime, until evacuees are still in these centers, national government and local government will continue to provide food to evacuees. DSWD is coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH) and other agencies especially on health issues, DOH is there ready to address this issue, said Ramos.

In the meantime, we are asking our workers to do stress debriefing but since we have a language barrier, we are requesting Maranao speaking DSWD workers to do the stress debriefing to the evacuees.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ma. Yvonne Estose of the Iligan City Health Office shared that the health office is offering physical check up for evacuees from children to adults especially to those who have complaints with physical health. In fact, she said they found an old day infant who has 39.1C temperature. They immediately referred both the mother and the child to the city hospital for treatment.

Further, they provide medicines for a cough and colds and antibiotics and for hypertension. On the other hand, Dr. Estose said that most common illnesses of the adults are hypertension perhaps because of the heat of the weather. She also explained the importance of hygiene and sanitation. DOH is checking water and toilet facilities. There must be clean water in the evacuation center to avoid gastroenteritis or diarrhea, cough and colds and skin diseases. Sanitation is also important such as proper garbage disposal.

Anilo Laurete, barangay captain of one of the evacuation centers in barangay Ma. Cristina says that they have opened their gymnasium for Marawi clash evacuees as requested by Iligan CIty Mayor Celso Regencia. He said they have provided water and toiled facilities and make sure that the center is conducive and safe for IDPs from Marawi. (JMOR/PIA10)

PCOO, PIA establish command center in Iligan City

Aimed to provide accurate information on crisis situation in Marawi City, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has established a command center in Iligan City. 

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Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold E. Clavite shares in a press conference on May 29 that the PCOO through Secretary Martin Andanar established Mindanao hour with command center in cities of Davao and Iligan. Secretary Martin Andanar leads Davao operation while DG Clavite in Iligan. 

The press conference was held with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Iligan City local government unit (LGU), Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Philippine Information Agency – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PIA-PCOO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to update media on crisis situation in Marawi City.

Through this command center, the PCOO-PIA will provide much needed support to make sure information / consolidation of reports are smooth and correct. 

Further, all information from region 10 and ARMM, are verified in the command and coordinating center in Iligan and submitted to Davao, this is the same report OCD is giving to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). If there is new information, there will be press briefings daily. 

Clavite urges friends in the media to emanate information from the command center. “We try all our best to manage information well.”

He said, especially now there’s a lot of information going around social media. As much as possible we work together here to know the real information. This is the first time that region 10 and ARMM are working together. We have good working relationship and working together in crisis management. Clavite urges everyone to help each other to spread correct information especially on social media. 

Meanwhile, LtCol Benedicto Manquiquis, commanding officer, 1st Civil Military Operation (CMO) Batallion, 1stInfantry (Tabak) Division, is asking the public to let soldiers do the clearing operations. He says, “We see to it to minimize collateral damage such as in crossfire.” He also said they have snipers. 

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The situation in Marawi is different because this is urban setting, but we have equipment, which can see in nighttime to see lawless elements, he said.  

The civilians have guns but are not authorized to use said Manquiquis. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) uses calibrated airstrikes. AFP considers Ramadan and considers airstrikes without collateral damage.

“We are extending our helping hand affected by lawless elements in Marawi city. May nakarating tulong galing Metro Manila dala sa Philippine Navy nandyan sa Brgy Buru-un, Ma. Cristina, sa evacuation centers,” said Mayor Celso Regencia.

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He also explained lockdowns being implemented by the local government. According to him, this request of lockdown is from the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP) if they have operations to avoid collateral damage in case of encounters in the city. It was implemented on the night before for three hours but in the morning, the city was business as usual.

If they need information di natin ipagkait sa kanila sa mga sundalo sa Marawi city ngayon.

We are trying to involve barangay captains, dapat we can come up to a timely information para hindi tayo mukhang kawawa. Kinausap naming sila na hind maging marahas, dapat observe human rights and rule of law. 

This time ang mga sundalo natin and PNP are more professional. Hindi pwede i-abuso mga tao at mga evacuees. 

Business as usual. Yung curfew hour kailangan sundin. We will validate gaano ka totoo ang impormasyon natin. 

The mayor also said, “Tuloy tuloy po ang pagtanggap ng evacuees, we can identify how many evacuees staying with their relatives.” 

A total of 47,293 families are evacuated from Marawi City and are now in Iligan, mayor Regencia said. (JMOR/PIA10)

DOT, Iligan participate in 18-Day Campaign to End VAW

Iligan City participates in the ‘Orange Your Icon for 18 Days Advocacy Initiative.’ It kicked-off with Inaugural Lighting of the Maria Cristina Falls in the city on Nov. 25

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Orange is a bright and optimistic color chosen by the United Nations Secretary General to symbolize the brighter future of a world free from violence against women and girls. Thus, the City of Iligan declares its commitment in upholding the rights of women and girls to be valued and respected, said Vice Mayor Jemar L. Vera Cruz in his message after the Inaugural Lighting.

 

This also declares support to the 18 Day-campaign from 25 November to December 12 to the vision of a Violence Against Women (VAW)-free community.

 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in collaboration with the local government unit (LGU) of Iligan City likewise aimed to raise awareness that VAW is a public issue of national concern, and to end VAW by putting up or displaying color orange to all known tourist attractions in the country.

 

The message also calls for the DOT and other stakeholders in the tourism industry to have a safe and non-exploitative tourism activities, capping this year’s theme, “VAW-free community starts with me.” The theme gives emphasis on continues pursuit of achieving a VAW-free community through everyone’s commitment and contribution to ending VAWs.

 

Stakeholders—academe, training institution, private sector, non-government organization, civil society, of a man/boy, and woman/girl among others also expressed their commitments during the inauguration.

 

Ma. Nancy G. Derequito of DOT region 10 said that Maria Cristina Falls represents Region 10. The campaign was simultaneous opened with other 18 participating tourist destinations in all regions nationwide.

 

November 25 is also celebrated as the ‘National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children’ under Republic Act 10398.

 

Derequito also said that Maria Cristina Falls is a famous landmark of Iligan, the fountainhead of progress.

 

It is also the Mother of all waterfalls in this part of the country for it gave birth to the islands electrification program through the hydroelectric power plant. It stands 120 ft., harnessed and inaugurated in 1953 to give light to an island of darkness. It symbolizes the symbiotic existence of man and that of Mother Nature, she said.

 

Meanwhile, Derequito, along with DOT Manila represented by Aida Soriano, talked on VAW free Region 10, and Rationale of VAWfree Philippines respectively.

 

Proclamation No. 117, series of 2006, declares 25 November to 12 December as the 18-day Campaign to End VAW, as the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW, consistent with the Magna Carta of Women. (LVG/PIA-10 LDN)