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COTABATO CITY (SDN) — Sulu Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan showed love to Bangsamoro Education Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal for the construction of a new two-storey education building worth Php40 million in Jolo, Sulu.
Headed by Iqbal, who wears many hats in the Mindanao peace process, the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) turned over the MBHTE building to Jolo’s schools division office (SDO) on September 11, one of the education ministry’s many school building projects in the province.
MBHTE Director General for Basic Education Abdullah “Junn” P. Salik, Jr. on behalf of the ministry’s Education Facilities Section (EFS) led the turnover to Sulu local government unit (LGU) and Jolo SDO headed by School Supt. Dr. Kiram Irilis, opening the building for business. He was tasked by the education minister to represent him in the turnover ceremony.
It can be recalled that Iqbal led a strong contingent to Sulu in May this year, visiting many municipalities and schools and delivering IT equipment and other education-related devices, as well as Teachers’ Kits and Learners’ Kits worth around Php70 million. His visit also featured turnover of new school buildings as well as groundbreaking for new school buildings.
Iqbal promised to continue putting in place education reforms in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), covering the construction of school buildings to increase classrooms, hiring of teaching and non-teaching personnel, provision of education equipment and materials, among others.
MBHTE is one of the 15 primary ministries of the Bangsamoro government.
Tan gushed over the new MBHTE-SDO building, built right across the Muhammad Tulawie Central School (MTCS) in Barangay San Raymundo in downtown Jolo.
The MBHTE said the building funding came from the 2020 Special Development Fund (SDF). MBHTE’s
Speaking in the national language, he said, “This is big. It is only now that I see a DepEd (Department of Education, which is MBHTE in BARMM) building in Jolo. Before, in truth, our office looked pitiful here. This is the first built building here in Jolo and BARMM.”
Tan then sent his gratitude to Iqbal.
“Thank you to Minister Iqbal. Please, our DG (director general), relay our gratitude to Minister Iqbal. We have many needs. This is building is never enough. Muhammad Tulawie Central School is in front of us, so this big in our hearts,” the Sulu governor said.
Dialogue is important, says Tan
He said education should be given dignity. “Let us give education (a dignity). We owe it to our young people.”
Tan revealed that Sulu is in line to receive a funding of around Php46 billion. “Si CM Murad (BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim) madami pala ibibigay na pera allocated to us (CM Murad will give us much fund). It’s something like Php46 billion from 2023 to 2028.”
“We owe much gratitude to you (MBHTE) for giving us this building. Sulu’s image will be transformed. Education is also important to other areas,” the Sulu governor said.
Meanwhile, he appealed to MBHTE to issue appointments to teachers in the province who already passed their teachers’ licensure examination.
Tan also emphasized the importance of dialogue, saying without it, agreements would be hard to come by.
Furthermore, he suggested that a meeting with the Chief Minsiters should be held in Zamboanga City as a middle area for those coming from the island provinces and mainland provinces of BARMM.
“We participated in the meeting with CM Murad in Davao City. It is our turn here in Zamboanga City. Many of our mayors grumbled over the Davao’s distance,” he pointed out.
While in Jolo, Salik was invited to meet with the Philippine Army’s (PA) 11th Infantry Division commander in the province, Maj. General Ignatius N. Patrimonio and a separate meeting with Sultan of Sulu Haji Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram.
Here’s what the MBHTE said:
“Constructions and repairs of school buildings and educational facilities across the 11 schools divisions in BARMM, including those for the higher education institutions and TESD training centers, were the result of the continuous monitoring and evaluation activities of the EFS which aims to identify infrastructure needs and ensure betterment of educational experiences of learner at all levels.
“Minister Iqbal emphasized that the Schools Division Office is vital in strengthening the education system in Sulu. It will also serve as a home to an impartial and quality education system.
“The MBHTE has always been geared toward the construction of school building projects and facilities for the officials of the education ministry that are structured in adherence to quality standards and designed to be more resilient infrastructures.” (✓)