Under Pangarungan Leadership NCMF Achieves ISO 9001:2015 Seal of Excellence

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(SDN) — REFORM, patience and constancy of purpose spearheaded by Secretary/CEO Saidamen Balt Pangarungan has delivered an ISO 9001:2015 Certification to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

Credit for all photos: NCMF

Whichever way one looks at it, some observers noted, the Certification granted by Bureau Veritas this year after a rigorous process means only one thing: a Seal of Excellence.

“Features of good governance”

Naturally, this was not lost on Pangarungan, head of the Commission. He attributed them to “features of good governance.”

“With all these features of good governance by NCMF’s process owners, we succeeded in our ISO 9001:2015 Certification with zero non-conformity. We elevated the the status of the NCMF from a lowly state to professional excellence in government service. This was accomplished with the pandemic in the background,” the Muslim leader emphasized.

He assured that now that the NCMF had started its ISO journey, “we will not rest on our laurels, Now more than ever, we need to back up our accomplishments and all show all of the Filipinos that the (NCMF) has arrived. And Muslim Filipinos, if given the opportunity can excel in government service.”

The NCMF head explained that “ISO is the International Organization for Standardization as he emphasized the Commission’s ISO Certification is a tangible manifestation that we are now ‘one of the best national government agencies.'”

That the NCMF achieved the feat despite a pandemic that has disrupted in major, major way and continues without letup all facets of lives, not the least governance and its myriads of attendant issues and concerns, what can you do but get convinced.

“The path we traveled was difficult but the contribution of every employee was the one that brought us through to this point. I will start my thanksgiving today and my expression of thanks to the employees who went through difficulties, offered their time, and sacrificed,” said Pangarungan.

He gave the recognition as he delivered a speech in English and Pilipino at the Thanksgiving and Celebration of the NCMF’s ISO 9001:2015 Certification held at the Park-Inn Radisson in Quezon City. It was the day Bureau Veritas presented to Pangarungan and the NCMF the Certification.

The NCMF head did not forget to credit the commissioners.

Pangarungan paid tribute to the NCMF commissioners who continue to deliver services to communities, to the other officials, all the bureaus, and service and regional directors.

He also lauded the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), the consultants of the Commission.

“All of you I am thanking as well as all the process owners who were the reasons for our success in Quality Management System, in the ISO audit, and to the continuation of what we have started. Most of all, my heartfelt gratitude to Allah Subhanna Wa Taallah, to President Rodrigo R. Duterte, to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea II, who appointed me as NCMF secretary,” he stressed.

“It is my huge honor to be the leader of our Commission with the ISO 9001:2015 that we accomplished. This honor is an honor to every official and employee of the NCMF.”

President Duterte appointed Pangarungan to the NCMF as its head with a Cabinet rank of secretary.

Implementing reform not easy

“Looking back there was a clear yearning for change and reform. The Commission had been at the receiving end of sometimes vicious but mostly valid criticisms,” he recalled.

He name some of the issues that plagued the Commission, including the scandal that nearly brought it down when “a few NCMF officials” sold Philippine passports to Indonesian pilgrims that landed in the pages of national news media outlets. And raise a storm of a national outrage.

“This tainted the integrity of the very fabric of the Filipino Muslim identity,” Pangarungan pointed out, referring to the significance of the Hajj, or the Pilgrimage to Mecca, to the life of every believer of Islam.

“There were accusations of corruption and fraud. There was an air of bureaucratic malaise. And when I joined the fray, I said to myself, this cannot continue anymore. Armed with marching order from the President, I came here to reform, to right the wrongs, and to give what the Muslim Filipinos deserve,” said Pangarungan, recalling the malaise that was eating up the NCMF.

As in all reforms and change, nothing is easy.

“But the reform initiative was not easy. It was not a walk in the park. It was met by fierce resistance by those who refused change. To dishearten my resolve, I was maligned viciously in the social media. I had experienced the most virulent attacks against my person and honor.

“Cases of every denomination were filed against me in all fora by those who wanted to replace me as Secretary. But Alhamdulillah, Allah is Great and Just. These cases were either dismissed or archived at best. They did not see the light of day. Not one of these trumped-up charges succeeded to demonize me. Neither did it work to block my re-appointment as NCMF Secretary for a second term,” the NCMF head said.

How it was done:

  • Reformed the Hajj by providing the best accommodation to thousands of Filipino pilgrims in 4.7- to 5-star hotels in Saudi Arabia. This is many times better than the sorry decrepit housing in the past.
  • Reduction of the Mutawiff or Hajj service fees by substantial reduction in plane fares.
  • Negotiated successfully the waiver of outstanding debts of previous Philippine hajj missions.
  • Activation and implementation of the 24 mandates of the Commission as called for by the NCMF Charter, including national peace-building through Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism or PCVE, the development to greater heights of halal, Shariah, Islamic finance and the Madrasah educational system.
  • Pro-actively responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic through the Commission’s ongoing relief operations and other assistance to the calls for help by more than 200,000 Muslim families nationwide.

“And I pray to Allah [swt] that we remain that way in the years to come. Now we can finally and proudly say that this is the National Commission of Muslim Filipinos that every Muslim Filipino deserves,” Pangarungan, obviously happy at the journey the NCMF took and continues to take under his leadership. (/)

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