August 26, 2019
CURRENT AFFAIRS

NCMF Starts Distributing Saudi Dates As Ramadan Nears End

(SDN) — SAUDI Arabia’s dates have arrived and is now in the process of distribution through the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

Earlier on May 21 the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a deed of donation with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to effect the donation of 60 tons of pressed dates.

The donation is from the King Salman Humanitarian Relief and Aid Center of Saudi Arabia, consisting of 1,250 boxes, 10 packs of dates each.

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NCMF Secretary/CEO Saidamen B. Pangarungan (left) and NCMF-South Luzon Regional Director Dalomilang Parahiman. (SDN file photo)

With the arrival of the dates, NCMF Secretary/CEO Saidamen B. Pangarungan ordered the immediate distribution of the sweet palm dates fruit to the commission’s regional and provincial offices nationwide.

He made the order as the holy month of fasting — Ramadan — is about to end in a few days.

Saudi Ambassador Abdullah N.A. Al-Bussairy and NCMF Executive Director Tahir Lidasan, Jr. and other Saudi executives signed the document for the donation.

Also present included Saudi Ministry of  Finance Director Fahad Al-Munif, Relief and Aid Center’s Fahad Omar Al-Gnidel, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Executive Director for the Office of Middle East and African Affairs (OMEAA) Raymond Balatbat, NCMF Chief-of-Staff Nikkolai Saidamen, Acting Deputy Executive Director Jehan-Jehan Lepail, among others.

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Among the over 1,000 boxes of dates from Saudi Arabia. (NCMF)

The NCMF through Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr., director of the Bureau of External Affairs (NCMF-BER), announced this through his Facebook page.

He said Pangarungan “graciously accepts the generous donation during Ramadan” as he thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ambassador Al-Bussairy.

Datu-Ramos, the NCMF’s media unit head, said the dates, which local Muslims have been anxiously anticipating, have arrived at the NCMF Central Office in Quezon City after processing with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The donation of 60 tons comprised of 1,250 boxes with each box containing 10 packs of dates each. NCMF Administrative Services Director Abdullah Macarimpas received the donation on behalf of Pangarungan and the NCMF.

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Ramadan iftar in Zamboanga City. (NCMF)

“All regional offices will receive 80 boxes each, except for Cagayan de Oro City and CARAGA Region who will receiving 50 boxes each, while Lanao and Cotabato City will be alloted 110 boxes each,” he said.

“The provincial offices will receive 30 boxes each, except for General Santos City which will get 20 boxes.”

​He identified those who are responsible for the nationwide distribution.

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Aeta kids await distribution of food goodies from NCMF Central Office. (NCMF)

Regional Offices and Regional Directors:

North Luzon – Bai Sainab Dimaampao
South Luzon – Atty. Dalomilang Paramihan
National Capital Region – Abubakar Sansaluna
Visayas – Malo Manonggiring
Zamboanga – Dr. Zulfikar Abantas
Sulu – Kenny Tan
Cagayan de oro – Dr. Abdulnasser Masorong
Davao – Norhaida Lumaan
Cotabato – Datu Mama Sinsuat jr CESE
Lanao del Sur – Lominog Lao
CARAGA – Monaim Guro

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Ambassador Abdullah N.A. Al-Bussairy and NCMF Executive Director Tahir Lidasan, Jr. (NCMF)

Provincial Offices and Officers:

Lanao del Norte – Sarah Camama
General Santos City – Guialil Kanda
Tawi-Tawi – Ascelaine Malande
Basilan – Marajaman Usman
Palawan- Hadja Noriyam Carim

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Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco. (NCMF)

The NCMF has contracted logistics firm 2Go to bring the dates to its every destination.

Datu-Ramos cautioned that not every constituent families will be able to receive a pack of dates, adding it will be the regional and provincial directors and officers who are responsible for parceling out the donation in their area of operation.

There are an estimated 10 Muslim Filipinos, thus, it is impossible to give a pack of dates to every family.

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Ceremonial signing of deed of donation at Saudi embassy in Makati City. At center is Ambassador Abdullah N.A. Al-Bussairy, to his left is NCMF Executive Director Tahir Lidasan, Jr. (NCMF)

“Aside from the dates, the Saudi embassy had also donated 26 boxes of the holy Qur’an which will be distributed to the regional offices through the Bureau of Muslim Settlements (NCMF-BMS) Acting Director Yasmin Naga,” said Datu-Ramos.

As the month-long fasting season nears its conclusion, the NCMF through its regional offices has intensified its activities in reaching out to its constituents, including non-Muslims.

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NCMF Chief-of-Staff Nikkolai Saidamen (right). (NCMF)

Iftar (Ramadan dinner to break the fast), Qur’an and rice distribution by NCMF-Zamboanga; Ramadan program by NCMF-Visayas and Turkiye Diyanet Vafki (Foundation); distribution of iftar food packs in Pampanga by NCMF-North Luzon led by Regional Director Sinab Dimaampao for 350 persons from donations by Al-Zaky Restaurant, FTPC Singapore, and PSI Charity Brunei; NCMF-South Luzon Employees Association donation to mosques in Batangas; a “historic” Ramadan Outreach Program for Aeta community in by NCMF and the National Council for Peace and Unity (NCPU) in Nabuclod Resettlement, Floridablanca, Pampanga; annual iftar “kanduli” (thanksgiving) in Cotabato mosques by NCMF-Region 12A; NCMF-South Luzon led by Atty. Dalomilang Parahiman provided 400 packs of iftar food packs; and NCMF conducts outreach activities at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila.

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Distribution of bags of food items by NCMF-Visayas and Turkish foundation. (NCMF)

Meanwhile, the City Government of Zamboanga headed by Mayor Maria Isabel “Beng” Climaco and the its Interfaith Council hosted an iftar along R.T. Lim Boulevard (May 31).

Pangarungan lauded Climaco for her understanding of the spirit of Ramadan and “her tireless efforts in ensuring the peaceful and progressive co-existence of her constituents, and for her respect for the traditions practiced by Muslim Filipinos.”

More photographs:

 

The NCMF Central Office also hosted an iftar for Moro cadets of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Silang, Cavite.

Here’s the Ramadan activity for the future policemen in pictures:

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Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.

The others are Shahaddah (Profession of Faith), Salat (five daily prayers), Zakat (Obligatory Alms or Charity), and Hajj (Pilgrimate to Mecca). (SDN)

Featured image of palm date tree, courtesy of AboutIslam.com.

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