By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Sulu officials have lauded their receipt of a modern fire truck from the Bangsamoro autonomous governance through the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan was enthusiastic at the turnover of the MILG-supplied fire-fighting unit on August 20, even as he tested the unit’s water-dispensing capability after spending a moment inside the air-conditioned section of the equipment, according to provincial information officer Sonny Abing.
Gov. Tan subsequently turned over the unit to Jolo Mayor Kerkhan Tan, to whose turf the MILG through the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in the Bangsamoro region consigned the fire truck.
Both the governor and the mayor expressed gratitude to Regional Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim and MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, said Abing, who posted online some photos in the ceremonial receipt of the unit.
The Jolo’s share was one of five brand new fire trucks purchased by the MILG this year alongside five police patrol vehicles, and four ambulance units for distribution across the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), it was learned.
A few days earlier, Basilan Gov. Jim Hataman-Salliman acknowledged receipt of a similar fire truck for his province, the BARMM’s Bangsamoro Information Office said.
Last April 15, Chief Minister Ebrahim and Sinarimbo individually inspected the five (5) police cars, five (5) fire trucks, and four (4) ambulance units parked in front of the BARMM open ground here a few days after delivery from Metro Manila suppliers.
Minister Sinarimbo turned over the fire trucks and the patrol cars to the BARMM’s BFP and regional police officials, respectively, last May 10 for subsequent dispersal to field units in the region.
Two of the ambulance units were retained in BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi), a quick rescue and relief responding unit of the MILG, while the two others were reportedly consigned to Tawi-Tawi.
The BARMM governance purchased the assorted units out of the 2020 contingency fund of the Office of the Chief Minister, it was learned.
In an earlier report, Minister Sinarimbo said his ministry would also propose a budget for 2022 to buy similar units for other areas in BARMM to amplify the capability of local government units in addressing emergencies. (AGM)