In the coming days, the annual observance of Ramadan will begin, where Muslims regarded the Holy Month as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. And with the on-going crisis that the world is facing including our country, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte placed the entire island of Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine, and in consonance with the said order, Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo, as the mother of the Province of Lanao del Norte declared the province-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine to protect the safety and health of the residents by preventing the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the province.

On April 19, 2020, at MCC Riana’s Restaurant, the Provincial Chief Executive met the Muslim religious leaders in the province to humbly request for cooperation in discouraging mass or religious gatherings during the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos through Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan has issued Memorandum Circular to suspend temporarily the conduct of congregational prayers, ijtima or johoor (mass gathering of Islamic preachers), multaqa (academic convergence on Islamic issues), and madaris (Islamic and Arabic schools) classes, to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the communities.

Governor Angging who is always thinking for the greater good of the people appealed to all Islamic religious leaders in the Province of Lanao del Norte to adhere to the memorandum issued by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos for the safety of the faithful as well as to the preachers. Instead of conducting the prayer in Masjid, the Governor earnestly advised the faithful to perform the prayer, especially the Tarawih in their own home and only with their family.

Sheik Khairoden Sharief and Sheik AbdurRahim Batingolo helped explain the intention of Governor Angging in agreement with President Duterte’s decision in preventing people or individual to organize or to attend mass gatherings, including all religious congregation or assembly until such time that the national government will lift the order.

Also at the meeting, the Ulama agreed to commence the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan in Lanao del Norte on April 22, 2020.

Governor Angging thanked the Islamic religious leaders for attending the meeting and shared their thoughts regarding the appeal of the Provincial Government for the safety and the interest of the people.

Lyndon G. Calica, the Incident Commander of the Incident Management Team and the Provincial Information Officer, have also addressed questions raised during the open forum, and Atty. Mark Christopher Babor, discussed the legality of Executive Order 06, Series of 2020, “Guidelines on the Declaration of an Enhanced Community Quarantine,” issued by the Provincial Governor on March 22, 2020, in pursuant to Presidential Proclamations No. 922 and 929. PIO-LDN