BARMM’s Significant Accomplishments in 2022: A Year-end Review


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Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim at Office of the Chief Minister in Cotabato City. (Photo: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

Part 2 of 3

COTABATO CITY (BIO) — Under the leadership of Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government ensured in 2022 that adequate services were provided to the region’s population.

The Bangsamoro government provided more public infrastructure projects, decent housing units, fostering employment and investment opportunities, advancing high-quality education programs, cultivating peace and security conditions, and improving resiliency and preparedness.

Intensified medical services 

The Bangsamoro Government guaranteed that the health, safety, and well-being of the Bangsamoro people, especially the poor and most vulnerable sectors, is a top priority throughout the region.

Through the Ayudang Medikal Mula Sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBaG), the Government of the Day intensified its medical support for poor and indigent patients who are struggling financially in paying their hospital bills.

Currently, the AMBaG program has allocated a total of Php144 million fund, which helped 20,399 needy patients since its launch in November 2019.

From 2019 to 2022, the program has already served 38, 237 clients who received assistance.

It is also worth noting that 73.69% or 28,245 of families went home from the hospital with zero balance after availing themselves of AMBaG and other medical services. In response to the ongoing pandemic, the program has also helped 1,266 Covid-related cases.

As of 2022, the program has already disbursed Php266,933,183.00 and a total of 14 new hospitals are expected to join the roster of medical institutions under the said program.

To respond to the global health crises, BARMM implemented several programs that allowed it to resume economic and social activities without compromising people’s health and safety.

Part 1 of 3: BARMM’s Significant Accomplishments in 2022: A Year-end Review

As of December 19, 2022, a total of 4,154,235 doses of vaccine were administered in the region, of which 244,668 doses were used in Basilan; 1,420,452 in Lanao del Sur; 1,201,97 in Maguindanao; 563,943 from Sulu; 318,188 from Tawi-Tawi; and 405,012 from Cotabato City.

Accordingly, BARMM has shown significant and continuous recovery from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further, the Government of the Day organized a Covid-19 booster shot campaigns in support of the ‘PinasLakas’ Drive or the nationwide booster campaign of the Department of Health (DOH).

Main Building of the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC), Cotabato City. (Credit: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

The Ministry of Health (MOH) expanded its medical efforts by providing hospital facilities, equipment as well as new vehicles ensuring the availability of services for the Bangsamoro people. They also hired additional medical staff to bolster their current healthcare warriors battling the Covid-19 pandemic and other purposes.

Expanded public infrastructures

In terms of infrastructure development, the regional government considered the prime importance of various infra projects in recalibrating the region’s connectivity and public services. In fact, in 2022, about hundreds [and still counting] of projects such as public markets, police stations, legislative buildings, public terminals, and sanitary landfills were constructed and made available to the Local Government Units (LGUs) across the BARMM provinces.

In the third quarter, the Interior and Local Government Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo led the various signing of Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) with Local Chief Executives (LCEs) for the construction of additional infra projects this coming 2023.

The MILG is currently implementing the construction of 250 barangay halls across the region, with another 100 halls next year. It aims to complete 600 village halls by 2025 which the regional government promised to the LGUs across the region.

MILG is also installing machines in the island provinces that will convert salty seawater into fresh drinkable water, addressing the scarcity of potable water in the area that has been going on for generations since the challenges being faced by the residents who need to travel by boat from one island to another for 4-5 hours to access safe drinking water.

In the same way, to ensure the unhampered transport of goods and services in the upland areas, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), along with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW), built Farm-to-Market roads, rehabilitated and upgrade bridges and flood control structures all over the region to help farmers with the transportation of their products to public markets.

BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim reads a paper as he hosts some visitors at the Office of the Chief Minister in Cotabato City. (Photo: SciTech and Digital News)

In terms of educational infra, the MBHTE headed by Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal constructed more modern school classrooms and upgraded facilities and provided needed equipment in different school divisions throughout the region.

 Provided decent housing units

The Kapayapaan sa Pamayanan (KAPYANAN) program — one of the banner programs of the Office of the Chief Ministers (OCM) produced and distributed a total of 535 permanent housing units with two bedrooms, light and water components to families belonging to the poorest of the poor, former combatants and conflict-affected in the communities.

Before 2022 ended, the BARMM government turnover a total of 300 decent housing projects for the people of Cotabato City and led the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of transitory shelters for Typhoon Paeng victims in Datu Blah Sinsuat (DBS) Municipality, in Maguindanao del Sur.

Also, the Ministry of Human Settlement and Development (MHSD) has been awarded a total of 200 housing units and currently constructing more than 2,000 descent housing projects across the BARMM region which will soon be awarded to qualified and needy Bangsamoro people.

Enhanced transportation network 

In 2022, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), in partnership with the Philippine Airlines (PAL), launched direct flights from Cotabato to Tawi-Tawi and vice-versa to help increase access and connectivity and boost tourist activity in the island provinces.

As the economic activities and daily life of many Bangsamoro depend on transportation, especially for small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs in transporting goods to markets and businesses, the MPW improved connectivity by building and upgrading strategic roads and bridges.

Also, MPW opened a number of road links across the region, including the Bualan-Balangas Road worth Php18 million; Hawani-Latih Road in Patikul Municipality worth Php30-million; Kasulutan Road in Bus Bus, Jolo worth Php8-million; and Php10-million for Jolo Port Terminal Road.

Another three road networks and two bridges were constructed in the Municipality of Bayang and Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) projects in the town of Lumbayanague;  Bayabao-Raya Road (Mipantao Section) with a complete line canal; and the two-concreting Raya to Malungun Road in the province of Lanao del Sur.

The said projects expanded to promote the balanced development of industries in rural areas and the creation of more jobs and income opportunities all over the region.

 Sustained low poverty incidence

Despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty incidence among families in the BARMM decreased from 52.6 percent in 2018 to 29.8 percent in 2021 according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Lanao del Sur province recorded 10.9% from 71.2%; Maguindanao at 38.0% from 48.5%; Basilan at 53.5% from 73.5%; Sulu at 62.5% at 82.5%; Tawi-Tawi at 22.2% from 36.5%; and Cotabato City at 39.7% from 42.0%.

Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Atty. Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos, Jr. commended the performance of leadership of the Bangsamoro during the recent local governance orientation of BARMM LCEs.

“The poverty rate level is going down in the BARMM, the agricultural sector is going up, and the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) is second only to the CALABARZON,” he stressed. — Johaira Sahidala/Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO)

To be continued. (✓)

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