By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Office of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim has allotted ₱155 million for the autonomous government’s constituent local government units (LGUs) for them to intensify their efforts in containing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
This was announced Friday by lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Bangsamoro spokesman and Local Government Minister.
Out of the P155-M allotment, Sunarimbo said, the provincial governments of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi will receive ₱5 million each, with the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan being allocated ₱2 million each.
He said the 118 municipalities in the five provinces will receive ₱1 million each, while the 63 barangays in North Cotabato that nor form part of the Bangramoro autonomous region will receive a total of ₱8 million, Sinarimbo said.
“The allocation is from the contingency fund of the OCM (Office of Chief Minister) meant to augment the Local Quick Response Funds (QRFs) of LGUs in the region to fight against the COVID-19,” said Sinarimbo, who is spokesman and Local Government Minister of the autonomous region.
He said the Bangsamoro government, through its Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READI) program, had also dispatched this week initial assistance to two major COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region, such as the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City and Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.
Sinarimbo said the READI program, which operates under his ministry, also provided personal protective equipment (PPEs) to men in uniform manning checkpoints across the region, as well as personnel of government banks serving at skeletal operations in this city “to ensure their safety in continuing services” in the current community quarantine.
He said Ebrahim has ordered the immediate construction of a facility inside the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital to accommodate other possible COVID-19 patients, following meeting with officials of the medical establishment.