By Ali G. Macabalang
In its stride for building uniform municipal halls in the Bangsamorio region, the interim regional governance has included three towns in distant Tawi-Tawi, the country’s southernmost province reeling from notions of less attention from national and regional authorities.
On instruction of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim, Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo led a delegation in traveling by land, water and air to reach Tawi-Tawi over the weekend and break the ground for the construction of modern municipal halls worth P28-million each in Simunul, Tandubas, and Sapa-Sapa towns.
“The MILG Management Team consisting of all our provincial, city, regional office directors and program heads, also took the opportunity to conduct its MANCOM or Management Committee meeting in the beautiful town of Bongao to discuss its programs, review implementation, and address current challenges,” Sinarimbo said in a Facebook post.
Hinting at the groundbreaking rites as the primary objective in their trip, Sinarimbo said they coupled the visit with the MANCOM meeting with “our hope that many of our ministries will take the same action and contribute to invigorating our economy by spending (regional) resource (in constituent communities) to spur economic activity and generate employment for our people.”
“It was both public service and adventure,” he said of the weekend trip, revealing that some members of the MILG had never set foot in southernmost Tawi-Tawi areas.
Officials in Tawi-Tawi, especially those of Simunul, Tandubas, and Sapa-Sapa towns warmly received the MILF team and assisted in the groundbreaking rites
The three distant island towns are the latest recipients of the Bangsamoro government’s campaign to build uniform modern, two-storey municipal halls across the autonomous region.
The MILG-led campaign has already covered towns in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao that had purportedly been lacking “decent” municipal halls.
In the 2nd anniversary celebration of the Bangsamoro region last January, the MILG kicked off construction works for municipal halls in Poona-Bayabao, Lumbac-a-Unayan, Dumalondong and Butig in Lanao del Sur; and Pandag in Maguindanao. The construction works were set for completion next month, Sinarimbo said earlier.
Subsequently, Chief Minister Ebrahim joined the MILG in launching construction works for similar municipal halls in Datu Blah Sinsuat and Talayan, both of Maguindanao, it was learned.
In one enabling rite, Bangsamoro government Executive Secretary Abdulraof “Sammy Gambar” Macacua noted that a municipal hall “symbolizes presence of government and authority” and making them “decent” would foster dignity in local government operations across the region.
The MILG has also embarked on building uniform barangays halls for the Bangsamoro region’s 2,590 villages with an allocation of P3.5-million each, covering initially some of the autonomy-opting 63 barangays in North Cotabato and two in Jolo, Sulu. (AGM)