BARMM – With the support of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines provided 43 ZOOM teleconferencing licenses to the Bangsamoro government in an effort to support its capacity to continuously operate and reach its partners amid COVID-19.
Among the recipients of the 43 accounts are the Office of the Chief Minister Ahod EIbrahim, all the 15 ministries and select local government units under the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
With the community quarantine in BARMM provinces in response to the nationwide efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines, the BARMM government can capitalize on virtual meeting and teleconferencing technology in reaching out to its constituencies and partners, especially given the geographic and infrastructure challenges in the region.
BARMM officials have acknowledged the utility of these accounts in helping them engage with the “new normal” and in being able to continue core governance functions even during a crisis.
The said accounts were activated a week after the presentation of the contingency plan by Chief Minister Ahod EIbrahim and the rest of the ministries to partners all over the Philippines.
Aside from providing the accounts, UNDP Philippines will also capacitate the technical staff of the BARMM ministries in operating ZOOM and in using the platform securely.
Despite the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine in the region, the BARMM government is still pushing for the strengthening of its information technology infrastructure and developing digital capabilities not only to swiftly adapt in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to prepare the region for the “new normal.”