Putrajaya-inspired BARMM gov’t complex set in Parang, Maguindanao

By Ali G. Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officialdom is gearing up for the construction of its new regional government complex in the panoramic coastal town of Parang, Maguindanao in pursuit of a long-standing edict unimplemented for decades amid lack of substantial funding.

Technical people have already completed the architectural and physical design for the modern regional autonomous government complex, BARMM Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua and spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo announced in a recent interview by the Kutangbato news team.

Macacua said the design was patterned after the Putrajaya complex, a panoramic modern government centre built by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s administration to ease public transactions in Malaysia, on one hand, and boost tourism in the Muslim nation, on the other. Thousands of tourists visit the complex regularly, according to Wikipedia.

In the same inspiration from the Malaysian concept, the proposed BARMM regional complex will house all ministries and offices of the regional parliament and bureaucracy to provide the public a “one stop” opportunity in transacting business with the autonomous governance, Macacua said.

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An initial budget of PhP800 million for designed works is expected to be approved by the BARMM Parliament, said Macacua in utmost enthusiasm.

Lawyer Sinarimbo, concurrent Minister of the Interior and Local Government, said the proposed site for the modern BARMM government complex covers 400 hectares along the former Eversan and Sarmiento areas in Parang town. Both properties have already been bought by the regional government, he added.

He said the corresponding site development has also been funded to jumpstart soon the construction of roads, water supply and other necessary facilities.

The existing regional government compound here, covering some 120 hectares, has already been densely saturated with buildings in a fashion insusceptible to further expansion and for “one stop” shop among public clientele, the two officials said, citing the reality that some BARMM ministries are renting buildings outside the compound.

Once the new regional government complex is completed, the existing compound will serve as a hub for sub-offices of the BARMM parliament and bureaucracy, they said.

The new complex, Macacua and Sinarimbo hinted, will be more accessible by land, water and air transports for the people of BARMM’s component-island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. The other component areas of the region are Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur as well as 63 villages in six North Cotabato towns.  

Parang town hosts the Polloc international wharf, which offers direct access for boats from the island provinces. It is strategically linked with the national highway currently used by land transports from across Mindanao.

Sinarimbo said that the Parang’s adjacent town of Sultan Mastura is also earmarked with a bigger airport to provide better freight access to the general public. The BARMM government has recently opened direct PAL flights between Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi, the furthermost province of the country.    

Parang town has long been eyed as a regional autonomous government seat for decades. The defunct legislatures of autonomous entities under different administrations including the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s regime as well as the BARMM parliament have passed edicts fixing the seat of regional autonomy in the coastal town.

The regional edicts, notably those passed by the defunct Batasang Pampook and the Regional Legislative Assembly, had not been implemented due largely to lack of funds for infrastructural works. (AGM)

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