By Ali G. Macabalang
Bangsamoro regional officials have inaugurated a freshly completed phase 2 wharf expansion project and a 100-bed isolation-treatment facility for Coronavirus cases, and launched construction works for two new barangay halls in Jolo amid warm reception from Sulu leaders.
Bangsamoro autonomous government Ministers Naguib Sinarimbo of Local Government, Eduard Guerra of Public Works, Raissa Jajurie of Social Welfare and Amirel Usman of Health flew Monday morning to undertake the three activities, and returned here before dusk in a travel unprecedented between this city and Sulu, it was learned.
The feat was courtesy of Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan, who lent his private jet to shuttle the regional executives and staff to and from Jolo town, according to Sinarimbo.
On Monday night, Sinarimbo posted on Facebook some photos, one showing him and Go. Tan breaking ground for the construction of two modern village halls at Barangays Takut-Takut and Chinese Pier in Jolo. Each building will cost P3.6-million from the budget of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, MILG sources said.
Hundreds of houses made of light materials and structures were razed to the ground by big fire on Feb. 3, 2020 at the two villages alongside adjacent Barangay Tulay. The fire displaced over 1,500 families, who were served relief foods and goods on March 5 by Sinarimbo and workers of the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence team dispatched by Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim.
The old barangay hall in Takut Takut was among those burned structures. In his relief mission last year, Sinarimbo said, “I committed to the barangay chair…that I will rebuild it.”
“We fulfilled that commitment today (Monday),” said Sinarimbo, who was equally enthusiastic about their team’s success in the two other activities in swift fashion.
The Facebook photos also showed Gov. Tan leading the four regional ministers in cutting the inaugural ribbons for turnover and opening of the COVID-19 isolation and treatment facility in Indanan and the expanded (phase II) port in Jolo.
Engineering officials said the construction works for the 100-bed capacity medical facility began on July 24, 2020 and completed on Sept. 18 of the same year with a budget of P29.06-million from the Ministry of Public Works. The cost of the Jolo port Phase II expansion was not immediately known.
Before flying back here, Gov. Tan spent cordial huddles with the four ministers, sipping Sulu-concocted coffee drinks called “kahawa sug,” shared jokes, and laughed together, Sinarimbo said in his post.
“We’re received and warmly welcomed by the governor… (He) regaled us with his dream for Sulu and the Tausugs. We share his dream and the aspirations of the people of Sulu for its development,” he said.
“We conveyed to (Gov. Tan) the Chief Minister’s desire for the development of Sulu and of the entire region…We will certainly be back for more projects for the people of Sulu. Just like the rest of the Bangsamoro constituents, you also deserve the best services from your Bangsamoro government,” Sinarimbo enthused. AGM