Lanao Sur gets five medical ventilators from United Nations
Selva Ramachandran of the United Nations Development Programme (2nd from right) and Lanao del Sur provincial officials showed to reporters one of the five medical ventilators that UNDP representatives delivered to Marawi City on Friday. Unson

Lanao Sur gets five medical ventilators from United Nations

John Unson ( - December 5, 2020 - 1:42pm

MARAWI CITY, Philippines — The United Nations Development Programme turned over Friday five medical ventilators to the provincial government of Lanao del Sur to boost its war on COVID-19.

UNDP’s top representative to the Philippines, Selva Ramachandran, personally brought the ventilators to the provincial capitol here, where he met with provincial officials for a brief dialogue on coronavirus pandemic issues.

While in the city, senior UNDP officials also visited a Maranaw community badly affected by the 2017 conflict that the Maute terror group instigated.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said Saturday he and his constituents are grateful to the UNDP for supplying them with five ventilators physicians can use in treating serious COVID-19 patients.

The ventilators are intended for the Amai Pakpak Medical Center here, a designated COVID-19 treatment facility.

Adiong said the coming over of UNDP officials proved that there is peace now in Marawi City, where many of its barangays were ravaged by the May 23 to Oct. 16, 2017 hostilities triggered by the intrusion of the Maute terror group, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Marawi City, covering more than 90 barangays, is the capital of Lanao del Sur, a component province of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The UNDP is one of the entities of the United Nations actively supporting the peace process between Malacañang and the southern Moro communities.

Lanao del Sur is confronted with high prevalence of coronavirus infection cases that health officials said are condoned by its having porous borders with Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Maguindanao provinces, a serious challenge to efforts of monitoring people coming in and going out.

“These five medical ventilators from the UNDP are essential to our war on COVID-19,” Adiong said.

The provincial government  received last October 100 units of hand-held two-way radios and 33 more base radios from the United States Agency for International Development to maximize the efficiency of an anti-COVID-19 communication network linking municipal governments and the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council.

The council, whose chairperson is the incumbent Lanao del Sur governor, is in the forefront of the provincial government’s COVID-19 containment initiatives.

After turning over the five medical ventilators to Adiong’s office, UNDP officials visited Maranaos, displaced by the 2017 siege of Marawi City by Maute terrorists, who are still in a shelter facility in Sagonsongan area not too distant from the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol.

UNDP officials promised to provide a power generator needed for the continuous operation of a water system facility in their temporary dwelling enclave Barangay Sagonsongan.

Adiong said one of their main goals for now, while addressing domestic COVID-19 problems, is to help sustain the productivity of the agriculture and fishery sectors in the province.

“These sectors are suffering from the effects of government quarantine regulations. They need help. We have to ensure their connectivity to the markets and provide them with continuing support for them to remain productive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and BARMM’s agriculture and fisheries ministry initiated this week a capacity-building workshop for 45 Maranao farmers involved in Abaca fiber production.

The workshop, assisted by the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, focused on examples of good practices of Abaca producers in other regions and on how local farmers can avail of support from Adiong’s office and the Bangsamoro government to boost Abaca production.

“That activity was just one of the many activities we have to continue empowering the agriculture and fishery sectors in the province while we are being pestered by this coronavirus pandemic,” Adiong said. 

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