By Ali G. Macabalang
Pursuing its drive of better governance based on “moral” administration in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the interim regional officialdom will construct modern town halls, public markets and legislative buildings of five Maguindanao municipalities this year.
BARMM’s Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo alongside Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim and Executive Secretary Abdulraof “Sammy Gambar” Macacua inked memos of agreement/understanding (MOAs/MOUs) with the mayors of Talayan, Kabuntalan, South Upi, Datu Blah Sinsuat, and Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao on Jan. 18.
The signing ceremony was held here as part of many events kicking off the celebration of BARMM’s 2nd founding anniversary.
The funds for the agreed infrastructure facilities including town halls, market buildings and legislative edifices in the five recipient-municipalities will also come from Chief Minister’s Local Government Facilities Development Program being supervised by the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), Sinarimbo said.
Cohesion is imperative in the implementation of the projects, Sinarimbo said, stressing their “unshaken belief that the cooperation between the LGUs [local government umits] and the Bangsamoro Government would redound to better services for our people.”
CM Ebrahim underscored the need for building modern support facilities to flesh out his administration’s commitment to shape “genuine autonomy” based on “moral management” in the infant autonomous region, which covers the five provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan and 63 villages in North Cotabato.
“Nakaline-up na ang mga programa at proyekto ng ibat-ibang ministries at OCM (Office of Chief Minister). Ito ang main reason why we are opting for an extension and we hope this will be materialized inshaallah,” Ebrahim said.
Last December, similar MOAs were inked between by Sinarimbo and Macacua with the mayors of Butig, Lumbaca Unayan, Sultan Dumalondong, and Poona Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, and Pandag in Maguindanao for the construction of two-floor town hall buildings worth P25-million each.
On Jan. 18 also, the OCM also signed the executive order formally creating the project management office of SALAM Bangsamoro — an office that will provide assistance to combatants of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in their transition to civilian and productive life.
“The (new office) will initially cover 10,000 combatants who will be provided with cash assistance,” Sinarimbo said.
He said the assistance will be based on beneficiaries’ compliance with three mandatory requirements — enrollment into peace education, community services rendering, and skills development training.
On the same day, the OCM signed another MOA with the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) for the school to adopt and carry out the Chief Minister’s Special Scholarship Program for Indigent Bangsamoro Students. (AGM)