ALI G. MACABALANG
In pursuit of its drive to make difference in governance for the Bangsamoro autonomous region, the regional Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) will build soon five modern municipal halls, worth P25-million each, in five constituent-towns long existing without decent official town halls.
In an exclusive interview with the Philippine Muslim Today last Tuesday, MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the project fund for the five town halls has already been allocated by the Office of Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim.
Sinarimbo hinted the Chief Minister promptly allocated the corresponding fund out of the regional block grant after learning about the absence of decent municipal halls in five constituent towns – Lumbac-a-Unayan, Dumalondong and Butig in Lanao del Sur; Pandag in Maguindanao, and another not immediately named during the interview.
Butig used to have a simple town hall but the structure was destroyed in an attack by extremist elements of the then dreaded Maute Group years ago. Pandag maintains just a makeshift town hall since its creation in 2006, while the elected in Dumalondong and Lumbac-a-unayan have no tangible offices, it was learned.
Sinarimbo said the MILG has started designing uniform details for the building of the five town halls, and that the construction works would be launched within this year.
Upon appointment in the MILG in 2018, Minister Sinarimbo has initiated efforts to strengthen local government units’ operation in the region, starting with the recruitment through stringent screening processes and trainings prospect local government operations officers (LGOOs).
The Laguna-based National Local Government Academy alongside regional directors of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) from various regions trained and mentored over 400 LGOO young aspirants, only 109 of whom reportedly passed the screening processes.
By next year, the MILG will field its highly trained LGOOs to all LGUs in the Bangsamoro autonomous region to put into practice the ideals of efficacious governance they learned from the processes, it was learned.
However, Minister Sinarimbo said the efficiency he expected of the LGOOs would never happen if LGUs in BARMM lack the basic structures, such as municipal halls.
“Towns without municipal halls will never pass our standard…That’s why we embark on building modern halls for them,” Sinaruimbo told the Philippine Muslim Today.
Public administration analysts from local academic institutions lauded the MILG’s concept of subsidizing construction of municipal halls, saying it will “flesh out the dream of the BARMM leadership for moral governance.” (AGM)
PHOTO CAPTION: BARMM’s Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo gestures in underscoring the essence of constructing P25-million worth of municipal hall for each of five constituent-towns existing without decent towns halls, in an interview on Nov. 10 by the Philippine Muslim Today. (Photo by Nur Ali A. Macabalang)