FOR the first time, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has received its biggest budget allocation yet so far to the tune of Php821.3 million.
Headed by Secretary/CEO Saidamen B. Pangarungan, the NCMF replaced the now-defunct Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) in 2010 through Republic Act 9997.NCMF Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan (right) at the Senate. (NCMF-BER)
President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed the Maranaw lawyer, a former governor of Lanao del Sur, to head the commission, counting on his plans to institute much-needed reforms, specially the conduct of the perennially-problematic pilgrimage operation.
Pangarungan and other officials of the commission attended the Senate hearing on Thursday, December 13, during which the legislators gave nod to the budget.
Biggest budget allocation so far
Dr. Dimapuno “Jun” Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr., director of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER), reported this development on his Facebook updates.
“This is the first time since R.A. 9997 was created that the budget given was this expansive. With this budget, the programs and mandate of the NCMF can now be fully realized,” said Datu-Ramos.
Speaking for the NCMF, he credited Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson for the budget’s approval. The senator from Cavite sponsored the NCMF appropriations.
He said Pangarungan monitored the hearing’s progress.
“Surely, the Muslim Filipinos will be expecting great things this coming year,” the NCMF-BER head said.
The breakdown of the 2019 budget of the NCMF includes Php302.2 million for its Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), which was Php110.2 million in 2018; Capital Outlay, Php39.7 million (Php27.7 million, 2018); Php479.3 million; and Php192 million additional budget for madrasah and for prevention and countering violent extremism (PCVE) programs for better monitoring of the said institutions/projects.
Meanwhile, the NCMF now has two new commissioners, engineer Samad Pangandaman and former Philippine National Police (PNP) general Abubakar Mangelen.
The President appointed Mangelen and Pangandaman on November 26.
Other commissioners are Pangarungan, Ustadhz Abdulhadi Daguit, Roque “Yusuf” Morales, Datu Rus Lidasan, Jr., and Fatmawati Salapuddin,
R.A. 9997 calls for nine commissioners of the NCMF, including the secretary/CEO as the ninth. At present, the commission needs two more to complete their number. (EKU)