By: Zosimo D. Pasaol, Estrellita J. Ibrahim and Mohd. Jibari N. Mamogkat
Lamitan City, Basilan – Officials, workers and constituents of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao were gathered in Barangay Bulanting here for the fruitful launching of ARMM H.E.L.P.S. (Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance, and Synergy) Convergence Program on February 6, 2013.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said that the convergence resulted from collective review of ARMM regional plans, commitments and current agency accomplishments, prompting this integrative approach in addressing poverty issues and to ensure that governance is in the right course.
Lamitan City Mayor Roderick H. Furigay expressed grateful appreciation to ARMM-H.E.L.P.S. Convergence program initiatives in bringing government services closer to ARMM constituents.
Bulanting Barangay Chair Alkie R. Asbi said he just could not believe that his barangay would be chosen as the launching pad of the ARMM-H.E.L.P.S. banner program of Governor Hataman’s administration.
Also in attendance were Basilan Congressman Jim S. Hataman, Basilan Provincial Governor Jum K. Akbar and Civil Society representative Rima Hassan, and other regional and local officials.
Similarly, the ARMM H.E.L.P.S. has also been launched in other areas by regional line agencies—mainly, the Departments of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department of Education. Officials and workers of these agencies were collectively engaged in promoting healthcare services through medical a mission, supplementary feeding and orientation on SEA-K, and demonstration on proper hand-washing and distribution of hygiene kits.
For its part, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources distributed brochures and awarded land patents/titles. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries distributed seaweeds and assorted vegetables seeds and garden tools for the livelihood program. The Cooperative Development Authority conducted an orientation and distributed educational compact discs (CDs), while the Department of Science and Technology distributed mosquito traps.
The Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Tourism and other agencies shared their commitments to the people though proposed and ongoing local projects being implemented in their area.