63 boys circumcised free via foreign-assisted mission in Maguindanao del Norte

John Unson - Philstar.com
63 boys circumcised free via foreign-assisted mission in Maguindanao del Norte
Pupils of the Mahad Al Islah Al Arabie School in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte were first screened before undergoing free treatment for common ailments and circumcision on Dec. 9, 2023.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Up to 63 boys from marginalized Moro families studying in a religious school in Maguindanao del Norte were circumcised for free in an outreach mission this weekend by Singaporean benefactors and local partners.

Barangay officials told reporters on Sunday that the medical outreach activity that benefited pupils of the Mahad Al Islah Al Arabie School in Barangay Matingen in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte, among them schoolgirls treated for common ailments, was facilitated by Singaporean benefactors and their counterparts Deseret Surgimed Hospital and a member of the Bangsamoro parliament, the physician-ophthalmologist Kadil Sinolinding Jr.

A total of 44 cataract patients, mostly elderly Muslims, were also treated for free during the activity, Matingen barangay leaders and municipal officials confirmed on Sunday.

The Singaporean peace advocates who supported the day-long medical service mission via a well-coordinated long distance engagement, had reportedly promised to fund local humanitarian projects during the Ramadan fasting season in March 2024.

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims where they fast from dawn to dusk for one lunar cycle, about 28 to 29 days, as a religious sacrifice, reparation for wrongdoings and to inculcate among them the value of self-restraint to achieve spiritual perfection.

Sinolinding, appointed in August last year by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as member of the 80-seat parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is most known as “doctor in the parliament” among residents in BARMM’s six provinces.

Sinolinding and his staff in the BARMM parliament and volunteers from the Surgimed Hospital in Kabacan town in Cotabato province and the Deseret Ambulatory Referral Center Foundation Inc. had, in the past 17 months, provided 3,309 poor Muslims, Christians and indigenous people from across the Bangsamoro region and nearby towns in Region 12 with free treatment for eye problems and cataract and pterygium surgeries.

“I am very grateful to our Singaporean brothers and sisters in faith abroad and to the office of the Member of Parliament Sinolinding for having facilitated the circumcision of my son and his classmates,” a 40-year-old mother, Fatima Oro Madsid, said on Sunday in Filipino, in a heavy Iranun accent.

The office of Sinolinding is slated to conduct at least 10 more eye care missions in several Bansgamoro barangays in Cotabato province in Region 12 before yearend.

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