MILG Brings Construction Boom to Island Provinces

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By EDD K. USMAN

(SDN) — More and more construction projects continue to sprout in the Bangsamoro region.

The Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) headed by a youthful lawyer, Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo, is the brains behind the infrastructure boom never seen in Muslim Mindanao in the 20 years since — the beginning and end of — the unlamented Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Well, that’s until a new political entity (NPE) dubbed “BARMM” — the defunct ARMM’s name plus “Bangsamoro” — came in 2019. And so, the construction boom under the MILG has been ongoing.

City and municipal halls, Philippine National Police (PNP) stations, barangay or village halls, mainly, so far. Hospitals and medical facilities may follow if the Bangsamoro Parliament pushes through its bills seeking to establish them.

Comprising BARMM are the erstwhile core group of ARMM, such as Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Lamitan and Marawi. After a plebiscite the city of Cotabato and 63 barangays in North Cotabato dubbed Special Geographic Area (SGA) voted to be under the NPE.

Currently, despite the paralyzing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the MILG is in the thick of fulfilling the dreams of the region’s local government units (LGUs) to have their own buildings and facilities.

The MILG head the other day reported that the MILG’s projects in the island province of Tawi-Tawi — three municipal buildings — being built in Simunul, Tandubas and Sapa Sapa are taking shape as steel frames rise. He was hopeful of the projects’ timeline.

“We hope that by end of the year, substantial progress will be achieved. This is part of the program of the Ministry to respond to the needs of LGUs so that governance can be felt even in the far away island municipalities of the Bangsamoro,” Sinarimbo, also BARMM spokesman, said.

The series of infrastructure projects from the BARMM Special Development Fund (SDF) has mushroomed in the region’s mainland and island provinces.

And with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s signing of the law extending to three more years the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) lifespan, it is hope the projects would continue, especially if the same officials are reappointed. The law the President signed says the incumbent Chief Executive will appoint new officials of the BTA/BARMM.

The law also postponed to May 2025 the Bangsamoro region’s first parliamentary election to May 2025. (✓)

 

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