MILG cites performers among 118 LGUs
By Ali G. Macabalang
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance has launched the “Salamat Award” program in honor of the founding chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in espousing “accountability, participatory and service-oriented leadership.”
The Salamat Excellence for [Active] Leadership (SEAL) award program kicked off on Dec. 18 ceremonies the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Center here in time with the BARMM’s handover of citations and incentives through the Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) for performing local government units (LGUs).
The event was graced by BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebeahim, represented by Deputy Executive Secretary Abdullah Cusain, assisted by Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM spokesman and MILG minister.
Sinarimbo said the SEAL award was initially conceived to recognize the region’s outstanding local chief executives (LCEs) in barangay, city, municipal and provincial levels.
The MILG momentarily administers the award focused initially for excellent barangay chairs, mayors and governors to be awarded in 2021.
It will be expanded in later years by the BARMM government as a whole or under the Office of the Chief Minister to cover awardees in other fields like social sciences and humanities, arts, engineering, journalism, and community development, among others, Sinarimbo hinted in a message to the Philippine Muslim Today.
Sinarimbo said the SEAL program will be “the most prestigious award that the (BARMM government) will undertake to recognize” LCEs and constituent professionals known for “excellent performance” or successes in their fields.
Winners of the SEAL Award will be known next year, with the outstanding LCEs getting projects worth P250,000 to P2.5 million each.
The MILG and other regional government minds will have to decide on the mechanics for the expanded program to cover non-governmental undertakings or professions, Sinarimbo hinted.
“The award is named after the founding chair of the MILF(Ustadz Salamat Hashim) whose quality of leadership (was) astounding,” Sinarimbo was quoted as saying in a report from the Bangsamoro Information Office (BPI).
It aims to contribute in the promotion of “moral governance in BARMM by popularizing the principle of volunteerism and primary common good demonstrated by Salamat Hashim as key to peace and development,” the BPI said.
Sinarimbo said the initial segment of the SEAL award “will encourage local chief executives and leaders to embrace the principles of accountability, participatory and service-oriented leadership as key to local development; and instill in the heart and mind of leaders and communities the culture of patriotism and promotion of social responsibility.”
Hashim, vice chair of the Moro National Liberation Front who broke away in the late 1970s to form the MILF to push for socio-political reforms in the context of Islamic governance.
The reclusive Hashim succumbed to a lingering illness on July 13, 2003 at Camp Bushra in Butig, Lanao del Sur, and was succeeded by Ebrahim, who was then the MILF vice chair for military affairs.
Following the ratification of R.A. 11054 (Bangsamoro Organic Law) last year, President Duterte appointed Ebrahim as BARMM interim chief minister alongside other members of the 80-seat Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
The passage of the BOL translated legally the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the final peace deal forged by the government with the MILF signed in 2014 after 17 years of peace negotiations.
Awards for LGUs
At the Dec. 18 ceremonies here, MILG Minister Sinarimbo awarded some of the BARMM’s 118 LGUs for their excellent performance this year.
Officials of 51 LGUs in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi received plaques and cash incentives under the MILG’s Local Government Functional Appraisal Award (LoGFA) and Lupon Tagapamayapa Incentive Award (LTIA).
Eight (8) barangays bagged the LTIA cash awards Php125,000.00 for the first place, Php100,000 for the second, and Php75,000.00 for the third placer.
In the fourth to sixth class category, Baranagy Kauran in Ampatuan, Maguindanao was declared as champion. First and second places were awarded, respectively, to Barangay Mao in Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao, Barangay Pindolonan in Buadiposo Bunting, Lanao del Sur.
For the first to third class category, Barangay Rempes in Upi, Maguindanao, was rated first placer, with barangays Cebuano Group in Wao, Lanao del Sur and Tumahubong in Sumisip, Basilan landing in 2nd and 3rd slots.
BarangayTumbras in Midsayap, North Cotabato got Php125,000.000 under the special geographic area category, while Barangay. Limo-ok in Lamitan City, Basilan also received the same prize under the city category.
The MILG also handed over Php20,000.00 cash incentives to each of 10 barangays in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and the city of Lamitan for being regional finalists.
The barangay awardees have been cited for the breakthroughs of their Lupon Tagapamayapa councils in settling disputes in their communities, Sinarimbo said.
Special Anti-Drug Abuse Council Awards were also given to LGUs that achieved drug-cleared status of their drug-affected barangays and for maintaining a drug-free status of their unaffected barangays.
Forty nine (49) BARMM municipalities received the said award—25 awardees for sustaining drug cleared status, and 24 others for maintaining a drug free status in unaffected barangays.
MILG also cited civil society organizations involved in interventions to drug-affected areas, such as the Council of Sumisip Youth Leader, Kadtabangan Foundation for Peace and Development Advocates Inc. and Balay Mindanaw. (AGM)