BARMM acquires more anti-COVID-19 equipment from foreign donors
The high-end Samsung and Lenovo tablets the Bangsamoro local government ministry procured with the help of the United Nations Development Programme arrived in Cotabato City Thursday.
Philstar.com/John Unson

BARMM acquires more anti-COVID-19 equipment from foreign donors

John Unson (Philstar.com) - February 20, 2021 - 2:19pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The New Zealand Embassy has donated 35 biosafety refrigerators to the Bangsamoro regional government to boost its anti-COVID-19 efforts in five provinces and three cities in its core territory.

Three transnational entities — the German Cooperation, the United Kingdom Government and the International Organization for Migration, or IOM — provided last January the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with more than P40 million worth of anti-COVID-19 equipment.

The multi-million equipment grant included vehicles and a sea ambulance for BARMM’s regional anti-COVID-19 frontliners.

Physician Amirel Usman, BARMM’s health minister, said Saturday the 35 biosafety refrigerators were turned over to them Thursday by the New Zealand Embassy through the IOM.

The biosafety refrigerators are needed in storing COVID-19 vaccines, according to Usman.

The UK government donated last January to the BARMM government three “cold chain vehicles,” or pick-up trucks with refrigerated rear cargo decks that can be used for transporting COVID-19 vaccines to far-flung areas in the Bangsamoro region.

“This donation of 35 biosafety refrigerators from the New Zealand Embassy complements our war on coronavirus in the Bangsamoro region,” Usman said Saturday.

The 25-month BARMM, which replaced the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in February 2019, covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Lamitan, Marawi and Cotabato.

The symbolic rite for the turnover of the 35 biosafety refrigerators to BARMM’s health ministry by the IOM was attended, via online teleconference, by New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell and Kristin Dadey, chief of mission of IOM-Philippines.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s local government minister, said Saturday they also got Thursday 122 Samsung Galaxy S6 Tablets with wireless keyboards,15 Lenovo ThinkPad E-14 and 300 pocket wifi gadgets that his office procured through the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP.

Sinarimbo said the communication devices shall be used by their regional frontline employees.

The UNDP is a major benefactor of humanitarian projects in the Bangsamoro region and has actively been helping push the regional government’s coronavirus containment thrusts forward.

Sinarimbo, concurrent regional spokesperson, said the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government-BARMM is thankful to the UNPD for helping procure the communication devices for their field workers.

“We partnered with UNDP in acquiring this equipment at standard price,” Sinarimbo said.

He said the MILG-BARMM is looking forward to more joint programs with the UNDP that are needed to boost regional governance.

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