By Bitoon A Ranao
August 18, 2019
|Officers and members of Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro CSO headed by Abdulnasser Baulo Toroganan Garo poses a souvenir after the official launching of the organization on Saturday, August 17, 2019. (RSP)
MALABANG, Lanao del Sur: A civil society organization with about 3,000 members dedicated to helping the government especially in the alleviation of poverty, upholding transparency and promoting good governance, has been launched here on Saturday, August 17.
Abdulnasser Toroganan Garo led the launching at the Amir Balindong gymnasium here of the Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro, a civil society organization formerly known as Justice for Malabang Movement.
Garo explained how the organization came into being, citing legal basis and the need for the constituents through the CSOs to actively participate in governance in line with the national leadership policy for participatory governance to involve wider people’s participation in governance.
He said the organization came at a time when there are three significant changes in the country. “First,” he said, “is the proclamation of Martial Law; second is the presidency of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and the third change is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”
Garo said that with the changes, they should be prepared and proactive on what role they would pursue in the community. For decades that Malabang has been faced by unwanted situations, he added, their response is the Justice for Malabang Movement or what is now Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro which they launched.
He said with the changes, there is a good chance that they would attain (the exercise of) their rights as provided by law.
In an interview earlier before the launching, Garo told the press how he had wanted before to bring to the attention of the local government the sentiments and grievances of their people.
|Abdulnasser Toroganan Garo, chair of Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro CSO answers questions from the Press composed of Masiding Noor Yahya of The Manila Times, Lino dela Cruz of Philippine Star, Frank E. Dosdos Jr. of Mindanao Gold Star, Rocaya S. Otical and Hanalee T. Yahya of Ranao Star Philippines. (RSP)
“Nobody would entertain me and no one was going to receive our letter of concern to local officials,” he lamented. The problem, he said was when they told them their problems, the local officials said they did not receive any formal letter. “How could they receive if they did not want to?” he asked.
When a friend advised him to mail his letters through the Post Office, he said he went to the Post Office but no one was there at the time. It was closed, apparently, no one was holding office, he added.
Garo said his CSO is willing to cooperate with the present local government administration in the interest of good governance for peace and development.
Garo lamented that many social services are not properly implemented in Malabang. In the press conference, he said poverty is still strongly felt here and the social services program of the government is not properly implemented.
He said, there are over a thousand poor persons in the locality who are much qualified to avail of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) but they are not included. “Instead, we heard well-off families and even ghost beneficiaries are listed in the 4Ps program,” he added.
He said he had raised the anomaly to the office of Minister Raissa H. Jajurie of Social Services of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (MSS-BARMM) and still waiting for her action.
In a recent media report, however, more than 3,000 4Ps beneficiaries received from P15,000 to P30,000 each in Malabang on August 8, 2019, when the Bangsamoro Social Services Ministry resumed the pay a year after the cleansing of files from bloated numbers of the enrolled members.
The report added the program has become a milking cow of unscrupulous officials so that the BARMM ministry issued a stern warning against any officials in the region who would interfere in the process or would in any way ask for cuts from the beneficiaries, threatening them with legal sanctions if complaints reach the regional office.
Peace and order
While Martial Law has diminished criminalities in Malabang, peace, and order is still somehow bothering them.
Just a day after President Rodrigo Duterte came to Malabang to lead the Independence Day celebrations on June 12, 2019, two persons were shot to death, “which means we are not yet sure of our security,” Garo said.
|Abdulnasser Toroganan Garo and members of Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro CSO joined the press in its recent visit to the municipal hall of Malabang, Lanao del Sur. (RSP)
Garo said per information he gathered, even illegal drug is rampant in the municipality. This may be because there is no MADAC (Municipal Anti-Drug Abuse Council) in the municipality.
Malabang was among the municipalities warned by the BARMM’s Ministry of Interior and Local Government for not having established the council which the government strictly requires LGUs to establish.
These are among the concerns the Proactive and Empowered Bangsamoro would like to help the government to address, he added.
Some local government officials including Ms. Mariam Madid of the municipal interior and local government office and the media witnessed the launching program. (With Rocaya Sumndad Otical and Hanalee Tan Yahya)