BY PMT Desk
There is no doubt that peace and development progress in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is now already felt.
It is in the right tract in implementing its development programs. Though it is barely three years of existence, it has already ranked among four regions in the country that surpassed its pre-pandemic economic performance.
Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority reveals that BARMM has recorded the second-fastest growth among all regions in the country posting a 7.5% economic growth in 2021, that promises a better future for the people in the region who had lived in decades a battered life due to armed conflicts.
One contributing factor for the growth is that the island provinces are now having fair shares of development projects from the regional government. They enjoy equal distribution of development interventions along that of their co-provinces in the region’s mainland. This was an unprecedented situation.
MILG Sulu Provincial Director Emini Kadiri thanked the Bangsamoro Government for its support to the island province. “In all fairness sa BARMM, lahat ng nakikita nating project sa mainland ay naibababa naman dito sa island,” she said, adding that the regional government is always supportive in responding to their needs.
The Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) under Naguib Sinarimbo has played key role for this achievement.
Just recently, the minister and his team travelled to the far-flung island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, taking the opportunity to travel with the maiden flight of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) from Cotabato to Tawi-Tawi on June 9, for a series of groundbreaking, agreements signing, and inspection of under-construction and completed infrastructure projects in the island-provinces.
Upon disembarking, Sinarimbo and his team directly proceeded to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Bongao Municipality’s state-of-the-art multipurpose center, and signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of two desalination plants in the town.
The team also broke grounds for Simunul Municipality’s Seaport and Tourism Center and South Ubian’s two-storey municipal hall, and signed a MOA for the operation and maintenance of a water desalination machine in South Ubian. They also inspected the ongoing construction of two-storey municipal halls in Tandubas and Sapa-Sapa which are expected to be completed in few months.
“Since the inception of BARMM in 2019, we’ve always been in good partnership with the local government of Bongao and the Province of Tawi-Tawi. We’re glad that we can fully trust the local government,” said Sinarimbo.
As the team moved to Sulu province, groundbreaking ceremonies were also held for the 2-storey municipal hall in Lugus, police station, and public markets in the municipalities of Omar and Indanan.
Furthermore, MILG also conducted ocular inspection on the newly completed 2-storey barangay halls in Chinese Pier and Takut-Takut in Jolo Municipality, and the desalination projects in Panglima Tahil and Pangutaran municipalities.
According to the minister, the island provinces hold the biggest economic potential in the region as they are the nearest places to international neighbors like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei.
“The future is here in the island provinces. I am sure that in the years to come, the island provinces will become the front door of development,” said Sinarimbo.
Meanwhile, MILG Sulu Provincial Director Emini Kadiri thanked the Bangsamoro Government for its support to the island province. “In all fairness sa BARMM, lahat ng nakikita nating project sa mainland ay naibababa naman dito sa island,” she said.
The MILG project management shared that the total cost of interventions in the island provinces already reached to almost half a billion pesos which means that if this undertaking is sustained by those at the region helm, sooner than expected, BARMM will no longer be dubbed as poorest region in the country. (With Agency)