LGUs ink MOAs for P30M infra projects as residents get relief goodies
By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Basilan province has hosted another leg of convergent service deliveries from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) bureaucracy, receiving relief goodies and infrastructure projects from the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) and the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).
The trend-setting event was held on September 30, enabling BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim to bring along his cabinet members to interface with Basilan officials and residents through Project TABANG or Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan on a face-to-face service delivery cum consultative convergence.
The Project TABANG, constituting all BARMM ministries and agencies as implementing members, was designed by the OCM to be “closer to the people” on a periodic cycle meant to cover all component provinces and areas of the archipelagic autonomous region through the years, according to the office of Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua.
BARMM comprises the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur (including Marawi City) as well as this city and the 36-village Special Geographical Area in North Cotabato in mainland Central Mindanao, and the distant provinces of Basilan (including Lamitan City), Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the archipelagic Western Mindanao.
In the latest leg of Project TABANG in Basilan, data on services or goodies delivered by other BARMM ministries and agencies were not readily available as of press time. Only those of the MILG and partly of the OCM were gathered by the Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news through a press statement and some social media posts.
Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman alongside other local officials warmly received the regional contingent led by CM Ebrahim, and was all praises for the repeated episode of the convergence in his province, it was learned.
Salliman and Ebrahim jointly witnessed the dispersal of 2,700 bags relief goodies for pre-identified Basilan residents, including internally displaced persons, underprivileged villagers and families in Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) communities in the island province, reports said.
Host officials reportedly assembled hundreds of residents and local leaders for interaction with BARMM executives, notably the chief minister.
CM Ebrahim in his brief speech pointed out that while political diversity exists among local leaders and constituents, there should always be room for unity in spirit and action when public service is at stake.
“We have only one goal and that is to improve the wellbeing of every Bangsamoro people. But we can realize this dream when we are united in spirit and action,” Ebrahim was quoted as saying in Filipino.
At the event, the regional officialdom forged a management memorandum pact with the LGU of Tabuan Lasa for the operation and maintenance of the P12-million desalination machine earlier delivered and installed in the municipality, MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said in a post.
Tabuan Lasa’s desalination machine was one of several units of similar gadgets purchased and distributed by the OCM and MILG to island municipalities in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to instantly transform sea water into drinking liquid and the age-old oddity of scarce potable water in the island provinces, earlier BARMM reports said learned.
The MILG also signed separate memorandums of agreement (MoAs) with officials of Lamitan City and Albarka town for the construction of a P15-million public market building for each of the LGUs, Minister Sinarimbo said.
“We also took the opportunity to explain to the constituents of the province the programs of the MILG thru our fliers and brochures at our booth. A meeting with the governor and the mayors also allowed us to personally receive their proposals,” Sinarimbo said, referring to Salliman whom he commended for his warm reception. (AGM)