Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 Nutrition Month (July)

The National Nutrition Council (NNC) approved the theme for this year's nutrition month celebration - " Kalamidad Paghandaan: Gutom at Malnutisyon Agapan!".

According to the NNC, the theme "stresses the importance of preparedness and prevention of hunger and malnutrition to minimize the impact of calamities and disasters. With the approval of the Nutrition Month theme, stakeholders especially local government units through the local nutrition committees are encouraged to plan for activities related to nutrition in emergency preparedness as these committees are also the local nutrition clusters."

The 3-fold objectives of this year's celebration are:
  1. To promote interventions to address nutritional needs in emergencies and disasters including preparedness, response and recovery.
  2. To mobilize responders particularly the local nutrition clusters and stakeholders to address gaps in nutrition in emergencies response from national to barangay levels.
  3. To increase awareness among families and individuals on coping and resiliency strategies to prevent malnutrition and worsening of nutritional status in times of emergencies and disasters. 

Reference: and

July 2014 observances

2014 Ramadan message from the Australian FM Julie Bishop

I extend to Muslims in Australia, and throughout the world, best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan, which begins this week.

Ramadan is a time for reflection, spiritual devotion and renewal. Muslim families around the world come together this month to celebrate their faith and their communities. By fasting, and through acts of charity, Muslims also remember those less fortunate than themselves.

In Australia, this month is an opportunity for us to honour the important contribution our Muslim brothers and sisters make to our nation. Muslim Australians have helped build a more diverse, more productive and more prosperous country for us all.

Australia’s Muslim citizens belong to over 60 ethnic groups, linking Australia to some 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. These links underpin our trade, and our friendly relations, with Islamic nations.

As Australian Muslims celebrate Ramadan, many will be thinking of relatives suffering displacement, unrest and conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere. My thoughts are with them, and I share their hopes for peace.

Ramadan offers a message of tolerance, compassion and hope - a universal message that everyone can share. Ramadan Mubarak.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Inquirer: ARMM schools given access to digital library

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Research will now be easier for thousands of students in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao following the establishment of free digital libraries in their schools. Two schools in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur already have such libraries.

The ARMM government is providing high schools in the region with “Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station,” also known as Starbooks.

Described as the “library in a box,” Starbooks, the latest project of the ARMM’s Department of Science and Technology, is a stand-alone research kiosk and a system designed especially for students who do in-depth research on science and technology resources, ARMM Science and Technology Secretary Myra Alih told reporters here over the weekend.

The endeavor is unique to the five-province region, she said.

“In the country, only the ARMM government provides Starbooks kiosks to the different schools for free,” Alih said.

“What makes the Starbooks unique and more useful is that people can access data needed even without Internet connection,” she added.

On Friday last week, the regional DOST office turned over to the region’s Department of Education a “complete package of the science digital library” for the ARMM Regional Science High School (RSHS) in Parang, Maguindanao.

Earlier, the DOST provided a similar package to the Racma Maniri Pimping National High School in Marawi City.

“We are very glad that our school is one of the recipients of this science digital library; now we know we can compete with confidence with other schools in the country,” said Mike Castillon, a Grade-9 student at the ARMM-RSHS, said.

Myrna Lidasan, the school’s principal, lauded the ARMM efforts, describing the library as unprecedented.

“Now we really feel the presence of the ARMM government. We know this will bring more opportunities to our students and help them learn easier and faster,” she added. “With this library, our students will be at par with other schools in terms of educational aides.”

Jamar Kulayan, ARMM education secretary, said the regional government, in partnership with the Australian Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (Beam), will also be turning over laboratory equipment for physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics to the RSHS within the month.

The ARMM RSHS is regarded as a center of excellence in science and mathematics in the region and is the only school in ARMM that provides a subject on robotics.

The ARMM said all high schools in the region will be provided Starbooks but the announcement gave no timetable.


Friday, June 27, 2014

RG Hataman's Ramadhan Message

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu.

We join the entire Muslim Ummah in observing the month-long fasting, sacrifice and prayer during the Holy Month of Ramadhan.

Fasting is a true test of sacrifice and self-discipline. It is not only refraining from eating and drinking. Its true essence is to develop our self-control so we can resist wrongful acts and habits. Each time we guard ourselves from earthly desires, we emerge as more sensible and better individuals.

My administration seeks to adhere to what is encouraged and permissible in Islam and equates good governance with halal governance. To us in the working ARMM government, Ramadhan is an opportunity to build the spiritual fortitude to always do what is right and to refrain from wrongful acts, even if they may be allowed by law. Advancing reforms in the ARMM requires innovation and determination and the courage to face those who resist change.

The challenge of carrying out the lessons of selflessness and self-discipline that we will learn this Holy Month even after it now lies within us.

Ramadhan Kareem to one and all.

Regional Governor

Friday, June 20, 2014

DepEd-ARMM revitalizes Science, Technology and Engineering Program

DOST-ARMM turn-over STARBOOKs to the Regional Science High School

(L to R) DOST-ARMM Regl Sec Myra Mangkabung-Alih, DepEd-ARMM Regl Sec Atty Jamar M. Kulayan and
ARSH Principal Dr. Myrna Buhay-Lidasan sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the STARBOOKs. 
Parang, Maguindanao - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) headed by Regl Sec Myra Mangkabung-Alih turn-over today one complete package of STARBOOKs, considered as the first Philippine Science Digital Library, to the ARMM Regional Science High School in the presence of Regl Sec Atty Jamar Kulayan, ASec for Programs Noor Saada and School Principal Dr Myrna Buhay-Lidasan.

Regional Science Coordinator Maria Celeste Padla explains, "STARBOOKs stands for Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station and was developed by experts at the Science and Technology Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII)". 
The DOST's STARBOOKs Kiosk Station.
Regl Sec Myra Mangkabung-Alih further explains that the STARBOOKs  includes thousands of digitized science and technology resources in text, video and audio formats from the DOST archive, around the Philippines and the world, including encyclopedia Britannica in children, youth and adult formats. It is accessible even without internet connection. It also includes video resources on livelihood education and entrepreneurship. 

The ARMM Regional Science High School is among the first recipient nationwide. School Principal Dr Myrna Buhay-Lidasan expressed elation over the quick process leading to the installation. Accordingly, this is will add to the technology-based initiatives of the school which includes the offering of robotics subject, closed circuit television (CCTV) to monitor all classrooms and solar panels to mitigate frequent brownouts in the area.

In his message, Regl Sec Atty Jamar Kulayan said, while the set came free from DOST, it comes with certain responsibilities for the school - regular maintenance and maximum utilization to aid quality teaching and learning interaction.

Aside from Racma Maniri Pimping National High School in Marawi City and the ARMM Regional Science High School in Maguindanao, five (5) more recipient-schools have been identified in Lanao Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Lamitan City and Tawi-Tawi. 

For more info about the STARBOOKs installation and acceptance nationwide, please visit their FB account -

DepEd-ARMM revitalizes Special Program in Sports

DepEd-ARMM conducts inventory of DORP- and OHSP-implementing schools

DepEd-ARMM, BRAC and ACTRC conduct Longitudinal Study in ARMM schools and learning centers

Saturday, June 14, 2014

26,000 DepEd personnel to benefit from tripartite MOA

GSIS, DepEd-ARMM and DBM ink MOA. Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) President and General Manager Robert Vergara (seated, second from L), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad (seated, third from L), and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman (seated, fourth from L ) signed and sealed the agreement to settle the premiums-in-arrears of almost 26,000 Department of Education employees in ARMM. The signing was witnessed by ARMM Secretary Jamar Kulayan (seated, first from left), GSIS Chairman Daniel Lacson, Jr. (seated, second from right) and DBM Asec. Tina Rose Marie Canda (seated, first from right). Joining them are DepEd Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Francisco Varela (standing, fourth from left) and members of the GSIS Board of Trustees (standing from left) Gregorio Yu, Elisea Gozun, Atty. Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez, Roman Felipe Reyes, Mario Aguja, Karina Constantino-David, and Romeo Alip.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will pay state pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) almost one billion pesos in unpaid premiums of employees of the Department of Education-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) in keeping with the tripartite agreement that the three agencies forged today, effectively adjusting the GSIS benefits of almost 26,000 teaching and nonteaching personnel in ARMM.

DBM will pay GSIS about P900 million in cash, 30 days after the signing of the supplemental memorandum of agreement (MOA), with the remaining P100 million to be paid over a period of one year.

The MOA supplements the earlier agreement signed in March 2004 by GSIS, DBM, and DepEd-ARMM to settle the unpaid premiums of 15,715 DepEd-ARMM employees.

Further, in March 2012, GSIS embarked on a project with the DepEd-ARMM to update its employees' service records. Changes in employee information, such as position, salary, assignment, and period of service were recorded in the GSIS database. This enabled the System to determine the correct premiums that the education department must remit to the GSIS, which now forms part of the latest supplemental MOA.

"As the computation of retirement benefits and loans is based on the length of service, it is imperative to update and reconcile the records of our DepEd-ARMM members to ensure they will receive the correct level of benefits upon their retirement or when they apply for a loan," GSIS President and General Manager (PGM) Robert G. Vergara said.

With the payment, around 26,000 DepEd-ARMM employees stand to receive higher loanable amounts and retirement benefits.

The MOA signing rites were held at the GSIS Central Office in Pasay City, with PGM Vergara, DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad, and ARMM Governor Mujiv S. Hataman as principal signatories.

GSIS Board Chairman Daniel L. Lacson Jr., DepEd-ARMM Secretary Atty. Jamar Kulayan and DBM Assistant Secretary Tina Rose Marie Canda served as witnesses.

"Moral Governance"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful BARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju BARMM na sambu maka salamat"

Bahasa Sug - "Dan mabuntul tudju pa BARMM masambu iban mahatul"

Meranaw - "Mathitu a kandatu sa BARMM ko katagompiya go kalilintad"


"Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE)"