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COTABATO CITY (SDN) — No matter the Labor Day on May 1, 2023, a non-working holiday, it’s still a working day for Atty. Naguib G. Sinarimbo.
He is the head of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Notwithstanding that he should be home with his family and taking a much-needed rest, he was out on Labor Day as he inspected construction projects in the Pigkawayan Cluster of the Special Geographic Area (SGA), which is inside the land area of North Cotabato.
The Bangsamoro region, established in 2018 by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the SGA comprised of 63 barangays or villages that voted “yes” in a plebiscite in February 2019 to be under the BARMM jurisdiction.
According to the Philippine Atlas has 4,404,288 people. It has 116 municipalities: Basilan, 11 municipalities; Lanao del Sur, 39; Maguindanao, 36; Sulu, 19; and Tawi-Tawi, 11. Its component cities are Cotabato (the regional center and capital) in Maguindanao; Lamitan in Basilan; and Marawi in Lanao del Sur.
Earlier on April 26, Sinarimbo also visited in the same Pigkawayan Cluster the latest MILG-built Community Activity Center (CAC), which is soon to be turned over to the local government unit (LGU). The CAC is located in Barangay Buricain of the Pigkawayan Cluster.
Taking its cue from the Bangsamoro Office of the Chief Minister (OCM), the MILG, one of the BARMM’s 15 primary ministries, has been constructing Municipal Halls, Philippine National Police (PNP) Stations, Public Terminals, Public Markets, Tourism Centers, Barangay Halls, Community Activity Centers, Seawater Desalination Facilities, Water Systems, and others.
Many of these construction projects have already turned over to LGU beneficiaries, many are still under construction, and still others in the planning stage. They are what Sinarimbo calls the “dividends of peace” or the fruits of the CAB. — EKU (✓)