By Ali G. Macabalang
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has conducted inspection on Islamic public cemeteries in the Davao region, in conjunction with the staging of its latest leg of relief food distribution to COVI-19 affected clientele in the region.
NCMF-Davao Regional Director Sherrila Porza represented Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan in the conduct of the two field activities on Nov. 10, according to agency spokeksperson Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos.
The team delivered 150 sacks containing five kilos of rice, and packs of Pinakbest seeds each donated to the NCMF by the Department of Agriculture-Region 11, Datu Ramos said.
These goods, endorsed to local Muslim leader Benhur Tahil in Biyao Cogon, Digos City, were earmarked for 150 Muslim family beneficiaries in the area, while the seeds were to be planted beside their mosque for communal use, he added.
Datu Ramos said the NCMF regional team conducted ocular visit to two public Muslim cemeteries in Padada and Malalag, Davao del Sur.
The Padada Muslim Cemetery contains graveyards of 6 deceased Muslim residents, while the Malalag cemetery has seven existing graveyards, he said.
The visiting team was accompanied by community Muslim leader Datu Wilfredo Jeopli at the Malalag visit.
The team found the two cemeteries very accessible but lacking barriers to ward off stray animals and some littering resident, Datu Ramos said, citing feedbacks from community leaders Jeopli and Sarif.
It was composed by Cultural Affairs Division Chief Samaon Buat, NCMF Digos City Sub-Office staff Jalina Dejos, Muslim Settlement staff Sittie A’shia Said, Cultural Affairs staff Jahanor Amintao, Administrative staff Ahmad Mapandi and Peace Building and Conflict Resolution staff Bainal Gangis.
Datu Ramos said Secretary Pangarungan will look into the physical improvements of the cemeteries.
Pangarungan’s stint in the NCMF has intensified campaign for the opening of Muslim cemeteries in different urban areas in the country.
The latest of NCMF’s feat in the campaign came with the launching of P24-million Muslim cemetery and gathering hall in San Andres District of Manila by Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Damagoso and Pangarungan two months ago.
Pangarungan’s administration also gave rise to efforts in the formation of Muslim coordinating councils in various cities and provinces to promote smooth rapport between migrant Muslims and host local officials. (AGM)