By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Two members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament have allocated P5.2 million from their development impact funds for construction of seven school buildings in Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
In a statement emailed to the Philippine Muslim Today news, the BTA’s Publication and Media Relations Division (PMRD) said Parliament Members Aida Silongan and Ali Salik allotted a P2.5 million andP2.7 million, respectively, out of their shares from Transitional Development Impact Fund (TDIF).
The TDIF is the BTA’s counterpart or version of countryside development funds allocated for members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for projects of their choice.
The PMRD said Bangsamoro Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal has joined MPs Salik and Silongan in the conduct of a symbolic ground-breaking for the construction of the seven TDIF-bankrolled school buildings. The date of the ceremony was not given.
It said the schools that will benefit from the two MPs’ allocations are:
· Sapakan Elementary School with one-storey building, flagpole and handwashing facility and rainwater collector;
· Buliok Elementary School with one-storey building;
· Datu Pinguiaman Elementary School Annex with one-storey building;
· Dagadas Elementary School with one classroom;
· Nasapian Elementary School with two classrooms;
· Sambulawan Elementary School with two classrooms; and
· Endaila Silongan Central Elementary School with two classrooms
The Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) “will determine other schools in the region that need development and assistance,” the PMRD statement said.
MBHTE Minister Iqbal was quoted as saying that the construction of school buildings – either funded under the TDIF or regular ministry funds – would be consistent with the 12-Point Priority Agenda of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim.
One of the 12-point agenda prescribes for the promotion of access to quality education and developing schools as a safe environment for learning and growth.
The same thrust is also pursuant to the Bangsamoro Education Code enacted by the BTA in May. The code seeks to enable the MBHTE in ensuring that “No Bangsamoro child shall be left behind (in educational uplift).” (AGM)