By Ali G. Macabalang
The Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) of the Bangasamoro autonomous region is assisting the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in constructing an isolation and temporary treatment facility for Coronavirus cases that can serve not only personnel and constituents of the military entity but also residents in adjacent areas.
The OCM released on Monday, March 29 to Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6ID commanding general, two checks worth 5.6-million pesos as “first tranche of assistance” for the construction of a PhP11.24-million COVID-19 isolation facility.
OCM Assistant Executive Secretary Abdullah “Dong” Cusain handed to Gen. Uy the two checks at the compound of the 6ID headquarters in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao where the two-floor facility will be built.
Cusain said the 6ID-based edifice will be an added asset to about a dozen of COVID-19 isolation facilities already built in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan, all component areas of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Instead of building an isolation facility in this city, Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim awarded Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in April 2020 14,135,500 pesos to enlarge its existing facilities for treatment of COVID-19 cases.
While this city now forms part of the BARMM territory, the CMRC remains under the direct management of national authorities through the Department of Health.
In the second quarter of 2020, the OCM had allocated funds to the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) for the building of COVID-19 buildings in all BARMM component provinces, with each edifice allotted an average of P15 to P20 million each, the Philippine Muslim Today news learned.
While the OCM was releasing to the 6ID the two initial checks last Monday, MPH Minister Eduard Guerra flew to Sulu and joined Governor Sakur Tan in inaugurating the COVID-16 facility built in Indanan town. The facility was funded with P29-million by the OCM, according to Engr. Faisal Cusain of the MPW.
Minister Guerra and Gov. Tan also inaugurated the completed Phase II expansion of the Jolo Port funded as well by the OCM through the MPW.
Guerra was accompanied by Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, who broke the grounds with Gov. Tan for the construction of two executive and legislative halls in Barangays Takut-Takut and Chinese Pier, both Jolo villages that lost hundreds of houses and structures in a fire in February 3, 2020.
Ministers Raissa Jajurie and Ameril Usman joined Sinarimbo and Guerra in Monday’s trip to Sulu and witnesses the inaugurations of the BARMM-funded facilities in Sulu and the groundbreaking of two two-floor barangays halls, each allocated with P3.6-million from the MILG budget, it was learned. AGM