BARMM chief wishes for “meaningful observance of Ramadan” amid pandemic

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 April) – The Holy Month of Ramadan would be “observed differently” due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but the top official of the Bangsamoro government assured its people it is doing its best “to ease your pain and suffering in these difficult times.”

A family arrives by boat via Rio Grande at the docking area near the Cotabato City Super Market on Wednesday, 17 July 2019. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

“I know that this year’s Ramadhan will be observed differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has already changed our everyday lives. We now wake up to a reality where taking care of each other means maintaining distance from one another,” Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim, Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said in a statement Friday.

He said the BARMM, through its Inter Agency Task Force on COVID 19, has enforced policies and programs to address the pandemic, one of which is assuring health workers and other frontline personnel of sufficient medical supplies and equipment consistent with its call for moral governance.

He said the BARMM provides massive relief operations and other forms of assistance to the mainly affected families and sectors, and extends financial support to local government units across the region “to enhance their capacities to respond to the pandemic.”

“A contingency plan has also been laid out to prepare us for any worst-case scenario,” he added.

Ebrahim said despite the challenges he remains hopeful that the Bangsamoro people would unite during the Holy Month to achieve their common goal, believing that the COVID-19 crisis “should bring out the best in us in the many ways we are responding to this great trial.”

“Through our collective struggle, we hope to find the strength to develop our renewed purpose in this spiritual journey, Insha Allah. May we all have a meaningful observance of Ramadhan, and may Allah keep ourselves, our families and communities safe from the threats of the pandemic,” he said.

According to BARMM’s Ministry of Health, the region has a total of nine confirmed COVID-19 cases. Two of them are active cases, three had died, and four had recovered. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)