By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – It’s “all systems go” for the Bangsamoro officialdom hosting this Friday, July 23 here of the regional summit designed for constituent-local government units (LGUs) to harmonize their development project proposals with the regional priorities and curb usual instances of duplication or double funding in program works.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, minister of the Bangsamoro government’s Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), said the regional summit will collate proposals presented in the field pre-summits held earlier in Lanao del Sur (including Marawi City), Maguindanao, Basilan (including Lamitan City), Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi provinces.
Similar pre-summits have also been conducted for priority proposals from the city government here and the cluster of North Cotabato’s autonomy-opting 63 barangays, Sinarimbo said, noting the successes of the field meetings.
Friday’s regional summit is slated inside the huge compound here of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) governance, Sinarimbo said, adding that the event will be open to media coverage to ensure a wide propagation of corresponding information.
The MILG facilitated the pre-summits on July 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 in Basilan, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, respectively, for municipal and provincial officials to draw up security and socio-economic programs and projects for funding by the regional government, organizers said.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim partly presided and addressed via zoom the Basilan event, with Senior Minister Abdulraof “Sammy Gambar” Macacua, Minister Sinarimbo, Minister Eduard Guerra and a composite regional team leading the Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi episodes, it was learned.
Provincial and municipal executives led by Governors Bombit Alonto-Adiong, Jim Salliman, Satur Tan and Ysmael Sali brainstormed with BARMM government representatives at the field pre-summits, and are expected will finalize the final converging their priorities with the regional thrusts at Friday’s regional summit proper here, organizers said.
“The summit proper will enable us to converge together the programs of the region and those of the local government units so that there would be a common development thrust for all (of us) to pursue,” Sinarimbo told deporters.
“The regional interventions should translate into uplifting the lives of our people. This goal can be achieved mainly through harmonious planning and execution of convergent regional, provincial, municipal, city and clustered villages’ projects,” Sinarimbo said at the Lanao del Sur pre-summit.
“Whether it is about creating road-networks or directly providing medical assistance to our constituents, at the center of that is the plight of our constituents,” he added.
The 27-month old BARMM governance replaced the 29-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in 2019, and is now covering the five provinces, three cities and 63 autonomy-opting barangays in North Cotabato.
Unlike in the ARMM government’s troublesome plights in defending yearly its regional budgets before Congress, the new BARMM administration receives an annual block grant and other national funds sans Congressional grills.
The BARMM cabinet led by Chief Minister Ebrahim decides on regional-impact projects, and proposes corresponding appropriations for approval by the regional parliament.
Sinarimbo said cooperation and cohesion on peace and development initiatives among LGUs and regional ministries can hasten the pace of the regional growth and do away with duplicated funding of projects. (AGM)