Friday Feb, 28 2020 02:16:10 AM

HEART renamed, now under BARMM local gov't ministry

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 17:15 PM Thu Aug 1, 2019
John M. Unson
The HEART is comprised of well-trained rescuers and emergency responders. (File photo)

COTABATO CITY --- The Bangsamoro leadership has entrusted to the interior ministry the noticeably efficient emergency response outfit in the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Response Team, or HEART, under the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that got replaced with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in February shall now be supervised by the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government-BARMM.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, local government minister, said Thursday Bangsamoro Chief Minister Hadji Ahod Ebrahim placed the rapid deployment disaster and calamity action group under MILG owing to its connectivity with local government units the provinces.

The HEART, renamed Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence of BARMM, was originally organized six years ago by the office of then ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, now congressman in Basilan.

The popular HEART, a contingent of professional rescuers trained on land and off-shore rescue maneuvers backed by a staff group with adequate experience on relief works, had served no fewer than three million conflict and calamity-stricken residents in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi during the years before BARMM was established.

The HEART saw action in flooded areas in Region 10, extended relief support to residents of Zamboanga City during the siege of several barangays there by followers of Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari and assisted typhoon victims in as far as the Eastern Visayas in operations from between 2013 to 2016.

The last major engagement of HEART was in Marawi City during the May 23 to August 16, 2017 conflict there that combined Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists instigated.

The HEART was one of many entities Hataman turned over to Ebrahim during the formal ARMM-to-BARMM transition rite in the regional capitol in Cotabato City last February.

Sinarimbo said Thursday he was also designated spokesman of the office of BARMM’s chief minister.

Sinarimbo said he and their first spokesperson, Abdullah Cusain, the chief minister’s deputy executive secretary, will help each other disseminate to the public the activities of the BARMM government. 

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