By Julmunir I. Jannaral
BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi — Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod “Al Hajj Murad “ Ebrahim arrived here last Monday, Sept. 27, to grace the culmination program of the 48th Kamahardikaan celebration or the founding anniversary of the province of Tawi-Tawi.
Together with Ebrahim were Public Works Minister Eduard Guerra, Agriculture Minister Mohammad Yacob, and Transportation and Communications Minister Dickson Hermoso.
The program was held at the Mindanao State University gymnasium in Bongao Municipality.
“Tawi-Tawi is very dear to us. We are very thankful to (its people) and its leaders kasi itong pagkaroon natin ng Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), unang-una sumuporta na probinsiya para ma ratify ang Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) ay itong Tawi-Tawi,” Ebrahim said. (the founding of BARMM, Tawi-Tawi was the first province to declare support for the ratification of Bangsamoro Organic Law.)
“Itong huli nating struggle sa extension ng Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), unang-unang nagpalabas ng resolution ang Tawi-Tawi para sa extension ng BTA. I would like to ensure to everyone na hindi natin pababayaan itong Tawi-Tawi habang nandito tayo sa gobyerno,” Ebrahim stressed. (Our recent struggle on the extension of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), Tawi-Tawi was the first province to issue a resolution, We will not abandon the welfare of Tawi-Tawi while we are running this government.)
The BARMM executives also witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Tawi-Tawi Bangsamoro Integrated Fish Port and Facilities (TBIFPF) project in Pababag Island.
Said groundbreaking is one of the highlights of this year’s Kamahardikaan celebration. TBIFPF is a P600-million BARMM-funded megaproject initiated by Tawi-Tawi Governor Yshmael “Mang” Sali.
Minister Yacob said the construction of the fishing port with complete facilities will surely boost the fisheries industry of the province. He committed to continuously support the programs of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) aimed at helping the farmers and fisherfolks in the province.
Meanwhile, Minister Hermoso of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) mentioned that there are seven sectors under transportation, which include Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) that regulate franchises, registration and licensing.
“Mag i-issue tayo ng mga ito dahil may kakayahan naman ang MOTC,” Hermoso said. He also committed to improve internet connectivity in the region especially in the Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi areas to boost communication services.
Public Works Minister Guerra, on the other hand, also committed Php150-million fund to each of the municipalities of the province for local government units’ infrastructure developments.
Meanwhile, in his gratitude message, Governor Sali expressed his gratefulness to the regional officials for gracing the culmination program of the 7-day celebration of the 48th Kamahardikaan Tawi-Tawi, which kicked-off on Sept. 21 and ended on Sept. 27. (JIJ)