Foreign donors donate P30 million worth of COVID-19 equipment to BARMM
Among the COVID-19 containment equipment the Bangsamoro region got from three foreign benefactors were refrigerated pick-up trucks needed in transporting anti-coronavirus vaccines to far-flung areas.
John Unson

Foreign donors donate P30 million worth of COVID-19 equipment to BARMM

John Unson (Philstar.com) - January 20, 2021 - 2:50pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Three transnational benefactors turned over Tuesday to the Bangsamoro government P30 million worth of equipment essential to regional COVID-19 containment initiatives.

The equipment — three ambulances, a speedboat for sea rescue missions, three refrigerated pick-up trucks for transporting COVID-19 vaccines to far-flung areas, solar power generating sets and other medical provisions — from the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the International Office on Migration and the German Cooperation were presented to reporters during a simple rite at the Bangsamoro capitol.

“We are grateful to these foreign donor organizations for complementing our regular health programs and our current war on COVID-19,” physician Amirel Usman, Bangsamoro health minister, told reporters present in the event.

Usman said the assistance from the UK government, the German Cooperation, also known as the Deutsche Zusammenarbeit, and the IOM, which is an outfit of the United Nations, was a strong “vote of confidence” for the regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM.

The BARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan and Marawi.

Officials launched on Tuesday the new P22 million worth 100-bed capacity COVID-19 isolation facility in Lanao del Sur province that the Bangsamoro government built using regional funds.

BARMM Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, representatives from the regional public works ministry and local officials together facilitated the  turnover of the building to the Lanao del Sur Integrated Provincial Health Office, or IPHO, on Tuesday morning.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., chairperson of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, said he is grateful to the BARMM government for providing the province with a P22 million worth COVID-19 isolation facility.

The facility, to be managed by personnel of the Lanao del Sur IPHO under physician Allen Minalang, is located in the municipality of Marantao near Marawi City.

The BARMM government constructed, from between July to November last year, prototype isolation facilities each in the compound of the Cotabato Sanitarium Hospital and in the Datu Blah Sinsuat District Hospital in Sultan Kudarat and Upi towns in Maguindanao, respectively.

“We are thankful to the BARMM leadership for embarking on this project in the first district of Lanao del Sur. This is a big support to our anti-pandemic initiatives in this part of the Bangsamoro region,” Adiong said.

Sinarimbo and other BARMM officials also led, in a separate event Tuesday, the groundbreaking rite for the construction of another COVID-19 isolation facility in the premises of the Doctor Serapio Montañer Memorial Hospital in Malabang town in the second district of Lanao del Sur.

Sinarimbo, spokesperson of BARMM, is also overseeing on concurrent capacity the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or READI contingent, that has disaster and calamity response teams involved in the regional government's war on COVID-19. 

Lanao del Sur has a prevalence of coronavirus infection cases owing to its having porous borders with Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Iligan City in Region 10 and in a number of towns in Zamboanga del Sur in Region 9.

Such peculiar geographical setting is a serious constraint affecting the Lanao del Sur provincial government’s enforcement of quarantine regulations along arterial exit and entry points in the province, according to Adiong.

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