By Nash B. Maulana
PARANG, Maguindanao Norte—A prospect of a city within a city shapes up here with the Bangsamoro government’s plan to move its seat of government to 400-hectare corporate estates it has acquired in Barangay Landasan here, officials said.
This old port town founded in 1910 will soon be elevated to cityhood, Mayor Kahar Ibay said at the ground-breaking ceremonies here for the construction of five Bangsamoro barangay hall buildings, on Tuesday.
BARMM Interior and Local Governments Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, whose office implements the two-storey Bangsamoro barangay hall projects, said Barangay Landasan will be the nucleus of a long-term development of the 150-hectare Sarmiento industrial estate already acquired by the regional government.
Sinarimbo and Ibay joined barangay officials laying the cornerstones for the construction of six barangay hall buildings here. Five more barangay hall buildings are to be constructed in neighboring Barira town, where the BARMM official also turned over a fire truck to local authorities.
Engineer Abibazar Sali, head of the MILG-BARMM Project Management Development Division, said the public market building now stands halfway through completion.
Sinarimbo and the municipal local government operations officer (MLGOO) of Barira visited the on-going construction of the distinctly Bangsamoro-designed public market building in that town.
MLGOOs are trained individuals, delivering BARMM local government programs and projects down the community levels of towns and villages. Soon, their experience being the trained and development working professionals for BARMM will be featured in an anecdotal book, Sinarimbo said.
The development projection of government programs, including influx of workers, are seen to make Barangay Landasan a smaller “city within a city” with Parang also being groomed in Congress and in the Bangsamoro Parliament for elevation into a cityhood status, officials said.
The region has also acquired some 150 more hectares of a complex once occupied by a veneer factory in Barangay Landasan. The land titles corresponding to both properties have now been transferred to the name of the BARMM government, Sinarimbo said.
Sinarimbo said BARMM has also set aside initial funds for the cost of land development though he did not say as to how much.
The planned transfer of the BARMM seat of government here draws the lines of geographical proximity to and from Lanao del Sur and Parang’s port infrastructure facilities to link trade with Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, Sinarimbo pointed out.
Thus, the prospective BARMM capital here holds the overall advantage to translate government investments into a sustainable “integration of the regional economy,” Sinarimbo said.
Also for the benefit of other regions, Parang is closer to Cagayan de Oro to the north, and from General Santos in the south. “So it is cheaper to transport goods via Parang to Cagayan de Oro than it is to lift cargoes from (any southern city) to the north by land, or bring them from the Cagayan de Oro City port to the south by land,” he noted.
Through these, Sinarimbo said, BARMM will effectively generate revenues to run its government better and cater to the needs of its constituent provinces, towns and cities.
Parang’s proximity and strategic geographic location positioned from north to south and to the west blend the best development factors for the integration of the regional economy, Sinarimbo said.
Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo, Parang Mayor Kahar Ibay join barangay officials in the ground-breaking of five Bangsamoro barangay hall buildings in Parang.