By EDD K. USMAN
Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
(SDN) — Here are the hotlines, the number Muslims can call on issues about Covid-19.
They are: 0919-718-1289 and 0997-501-7067.
This is in relation with the activation of the NCMF Covid-19 Task Force chaired Secretary/CEO Saidamen Balt Pangarungan.
NCMF Spokesman Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr. announced the activation of the Task Force that was created to address the Commission’s constituents, in Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
“The Task Force Chairman Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan and the rest of the NCMF are here to help the entire Ummah (Islamic community),” said Datu-Ramos, director and head of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER).
Last March 23, the Commission welcomed the announcement made by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) comcerning the burial of Muslims who died due to complications wrought by the 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-n CoV).
Citing the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) National Guidelines, the DILG clarified that a “Covid-19 positive Muslim cadaver must be put in a sealed cadaver bag and must be buried within 12 hours in the nearest designated Muslim cemeteries around the country.”
The DILG head by Secretary Eduardo Año advised local government units (LGUs) nationwide to comply with the directive.
Victims of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the disease named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), at least in the Philippines are cremated to prevent the spread and transmission of the coronavirus.
Cremation, meanwhile is not allowed in Islam. Remains of Muslims are not allowed to be embalmed either.
Datu-Ramos said the action of the national government “is a direct result of the close coordination done by the NCMF and the DILG to address the messages sent to the Commission by private individuals (seeking clarifications).
In relation with the various concerns being raised by the NCMF public, the Commission’s nationwide regional offices have been responding to them in appropriate ways.
Datu-Ramos said Pangarungan put into action the NCMF Covid-19 Task Force “to coordinate the needs of the Muslim Filipinos with other government agencies and local government units.
Some of the Commission’s responses included:
- Relief operation in Baguio City led by Director for Administrative Services Abdullah “Abel” Macarimpas in collaborati with the Baguio LGU and the Baguio Muslim Association (BMA), during which they provided rice assistance to 475 recipients. It marked the third time the triumvirate provided assistance.
- Rescue of a reviewee who was sick in Sampaloc, Manila, facilitated by the NCMF Central Command through the NCMF-National Capital Region led by Regional Director Mito-on Ibra. It was coordinated with the DILG.
- Responding to Tabligh followers in Zamboanga City unable to return to their hometowns because of the lockdown.
- Coordinated with DILG about the need to distribute halal (Islam-compliant) dietary food needs of Muslims and requirements for 7th Day Adventists to have their required foods based on their religions in relation with the distribution of relief assistance during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), or lockdown.
- Assisted in looking for and tracing Tabligh followers from the Philippines who participated in the Tabligh assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on February 27 which became a source of Covid-19 spread and transmission.
- NCMF-North Luzon under Acting Regional Director Rajah Ali Pumbaya assisted stranded teachers and their supervisor at the Clark International Airport in Clark City, Pampanga, seeing to their departure going home to Mindanao as well as provided assistance. They are from the Marawi City Division (MCD) of the Department of Education (DepEd) under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
- NCMF-Davao Region launched an information campaign concerning the risks of Covid-19. They distributed signages in the area’s mosques to educate Muslims in the region.
- Strongly worked in cooperation with the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Regional Director Debold Sinas on a PNP-NRCPO Memorandum that amounted to profiling of Moro students in Metro Manila. As a result the Memorandum was discontinued as the NCMF and Secretary Pangarungan “vehemently opposed the idea of profiling” of any person regardless of religious affiliation or culture.
Observers have commented that the administration of Attorney Saidamen B. Pangarungan at the Commission has been a most active one (if the most responsive) in leading the NCMF and in responding to and promoting Muslims’ welfare and wellbeing. (SDN)