By Ali G. Macabalang
Construction works have begun this month for new municipal police station buildings in four (4) constituent-towns of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), with five similar edifices pipelined for launching early next year.
BARMM’s Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo led the groundbreaking rites on Monday, Dec. 28, for the police station buildings in Amai Manabilang and Marantao towns in Lanao del Sur.
Mayors Akira Alonto of Marantao and James Manabilang of Amai Manabilang alongside their respective town police chiefs joined Minister Sinarombo in laying the ceremonial time capsule for their two-floor edifices worth more than P6-million each.
On Dec. 23, Minister Sinarimbo also personally led the launching rites for similar MPS buildings in Rajah Buayan and Datu Blah towns in Maguindanao.
One of the four mayors “told me that for the last 14 years, they have been requesting for the regional and national governments to construct a municipal police station for their LGU,” Sinarimbo recalled in a social media post.
“This is the first time that they received a project without them even requesting it…because our basis for granting the project was the prioritization earlier made by the Regional Police office in the Bangsamoro,” he added.
Interviewed over the phone by the Philippine Muslim Today on Tuesday, Dec. 29, Sinarimbo said his ministry will construct early next year similar police station building for five more towns in the autonomous region.
He did not identify the five prospective municipalities. But an MILF technical official said the five towns “have equally been longing for decent police station buildings not only as symbols of authority but for a boost to help the police win back public respect.”
BARMM covers 118 municipalities in the component provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It also comprises the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan and Marawi as well as 63 villages in North Cotabato.
The BARMM officialdom led by Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim promises “responsive, effective and moral governance,” but such dream can only be realized when the LGUs in the five provinces, three cities, 118 towns and 2,590 constituent barangays become equally robust, according to Sinarimbo.
While embarking on capacity-building among the BARMM LGUs, the MILG “is seeing to it that needed facilities and workforces” will be provided in the countryside, he said.
The MILG has partnered with national and international entities in screening and training local government operations officers (LGOOs) to handle their assignments in the five provinces, three cities and 118 towns in BARMM, he said. AGM