SP recognizes GSC Muslim Religious Advisory Council for its contributions to Gensan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -The Sangguniang Panlunsod (SP) of this town was recognized on Tuesday (April 5, 2022) by the General Santos City Muslim Religious Advisory Council (GSC MRAC), a group of Ulama (Muslim religious scholars), for its contributions to the Muslim communities through its programs and initiatives.
Members of SP, headed by Vice-Mayor Loreto Acharon, gave the officers and members of GSC MRAC certificates of commendation in recognition of the Ulama group’s extensive contribution to maneuvering landmark programs and initiatives. 

City Councillor Jonathan Blando, chairman of the Committee on Muslim Affairs, introduced to his colleagues and lauded the GSC MRAC for its efforts in undertaking initiatives in support of the program of the city government for the Muslim communities.

Sheikh Ibrahim Andang Jr., GSC MRAC Chairman, presented before the legislative body the MRAC’s mission, vision, goals, and achievements since it was established three years ago.

“Our organization envisions to be the leading Muslim organization of General Santos City guiding everyone to develop their thoughts and manners through quality programs,” he said.

According to Andang MRAC shall serve as the umbrella group of all Muslim organizations in the City of General Santos.
“We issue religious Advisory or guidelines for the Muslims in the city to answer or address issues or concerns pertaining to Islam,” he added.

The MRAC head of their group further provides guidelines to Muslim organizations or institutions including the City Mayor’s Office – Integrated Cultural Communities Affairs Division (CMO-ICCAD) to ensure that their programs and activities do not veer away from Islamic teachings.

He added that MRAC conducted moonsighting and issued advisory on when Ramadhan starts and ends.

Andang related that MRAC has also issued guidelines on performing regular Friday prayers while observing health protocols during the pandemic. 

Facilitating the creation of GSC Imam council, support to the conduct of Madaris intramurals, assistance in distribution of relief goods and Ramadhan food packs, giving lectures to the communities and online during Ramadhan, and providing free consultation on lesson planning and development of curriculum for Madaris education were other activities of MRAC.

“We conducted various advocacy activities on preventing violent extremism with concerned agencies like PNP, engaged in peace forum/dialogues, supported the establishment of Muslim cemetery, and involved in the crafting of the City Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism,” he related.

Andang said that MRAC serves as the voice of Muslim communities during the drafting of local legislation like ordinances on Halal production areas, Halal lane, and management of public Muslim cemeteries.

He also related the important role of Ulama as mediators in the Shari’a Atas Bitiara Project of CMO-ICCAD which facilitates settling of disputes among Muslims.

“To date, we were able to settle more than two hundred cases,” Andang disclosed.

He also revealed their new tasks like serving as vice-chair for the Public Muslim Cemetery Trustees, member of GSC Halal Industry Development Council, spearheading the establishment of Gensan Madaris Academy, and leading the upcoming Eidul Fit’r and Eidul Adha congregational prayers.