Cotabato City—Chief Minister Hadji Murad Ibrahim met with elected officials of provinces and towns comprising the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on a weekend training and orientation here, hosted by the region’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Governments.
“Today (Saturday) is a big event for us in the ministry (MILG). We will commence this afternoon the first ever simultaneous training cum orientation of all elected governors and mayors of the BARMM,” MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said.
All 116 municipal mayors and five provincial governors of the region converged at the Al-Nor Convention Center here for the forum from June 15-17.
Sources said Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Frances Guiani-Sayadi, who had campaigned against ratifying the new region in the recent referendum, was also invited to the forum, seen to serve as a venue for local chief executives and BARMM officials to interface and engage for greater welfare.
During the forum, organizers said Murad engaged with newly elected local officials to help him lay the principles of and generate support to developing and establishing “moral governance” as the norms of the Bangsamoro Government.
Sinarimbo, a lawyer, said the gathering is designed to “orient and prepare newly-elected local chief executives (LCEs) on their roles and responsibilities when they assume office on June 30.”
Following the creation of the BARMM, Murad said that the “more difficult jihad (struggle)” is ahead of the Bangsamoro leadership.
For instance, he said, the Bangsamoro government must be transparent about its remittances and contributions to the regional and national coffers.
In its first 100 days, the new region’s Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Energy has remitted P206,710,832.00 to the Office of the Regional Treasury under Minister of Finance Edward Uy Guerra.
BARMM-MENRE Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua said these regional revenues were generated from taxes on regional wealth and fees from regulated exploitation of natural resources, of which BARMM is granted autonomy to manage under its charter, Republic Act 11054.
Earlier, Murad met barangay officials in groups in a forum last April in Kabuntalan town. The chief minister and Sinarimbo met in Davao City also last April all 63 barangay chairpersons from villages comprising the BARMM special area in North Cotabato.
The barangay officials said they have requested for funds to construct small infrastructure facilities like barangay hall buildings.
Barangay Chairman Gulam Guimbalanan said it was about time for the government to fund the long overdue rehabilitation of old interior roads connecting riverside and main roadside villages that now form part of BARMM in Pikit, North Cotabato.
“We will start the change from the top while you also help us start changing below,” Murad said.
“We entered the system in order to change it from within…we must accept the principle that governance must be exercised by the many, not few,” he pointed out.
As this developed, the MILG official logo was also launched on Friday by the agency’s officials, following a two-day management-committee meeting.
The logo symbolizes the country’s 13-Ethnolinguistic Moro Tribes with small circles dotting the circumference of a main geared circle. The region’s geographic components—five provinces, one ICC (independent chartered city), and a special area composed of 63 barangays—are represented by seven stars.
The geared circle, representing written law and wheel of justice is about two-thirds circumscribed by a crescent moon, representing general tradition and a sword drawn horizontally across the imaginary common axis of the circles, and is pointing rightward, denoting right path.