The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has signed a P43 million economic support development package, as Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim bears the region’s TABANG Flagship Program in Basilan.
Ebrahim witnessed the signing of memorandums of agreement (MOA) between Basilan local chief executives (LCEs) and BARMM agencies, including BARMM’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Government.
Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the MILG and other BARMM agencies form part of the multi-agency component of Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (Tabang), a BARMM Program under the Office of Chief Minister.
Irene Fernandez-Gonzales, who hosts “Sindaw,” the MILG-based multimedia broadcast program, said Sinarimbo signed for various local governance programs of the MILG, with LCEs.
Gonzales said the Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) also currently leads the distribution of 2,700 bags in normalized communities populated by families of former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Residents and local officials said many of the beneficiaries are families displaced by decades of armed conflict, including bloody incidents wrought by pseudo extremism and the government’s response against brigandage and terrorism by the dreaded Abu Sayyaf in the past.
The MILG and other BARMM line agencies also mounted public service booths at Basilan’s Provincial Capitol ground to closely engage potential beneficiaries of government programs and projects, in a bid to bring the regional governance closer to the people, BARMM officials said.
The service booths also share information on how the locals may avail of services and projects of the BARMM Ministry-agencies.
The MILG BARMM took to the island province its Bangsamoro Local Economic Support Services (BLESS) Program, providing infrastructure support projects. The MILG’s Local Economic Enterprises (LEE) is designed to enable LGUs to translate some of their local functions into corporate powers—both being pursuant to the BARMM Chief Minister’s 12-Point Priority Agenda.
MOAs covered for the BLESS Program included a PHP15.5-Million worth of public market building with a mezzanine to be constructed in the municipality of Al-Barka.
Al-Barka Municipal Administrator Mahmoud Kitabin signed the BLESS MOA for Mayor Jaydeefar J. Lajid, with Sinarimbo during the Project TABANG Convergence activity in Basilan, officially witnessed by the BARMM Chief Minister.
A similar MOA for the same infrastructure project was also signed between the MILG and Mayor Roderick H. Furigay for the City of Lamitan.
The public markets are expected to boost the economic activities and development in the island province, as the Bangsamoro government also brings more government services to the island provinces of the BARMM.
Meanwhile, an MILG MOA with Tabuan Lasa was also signed for the operation and maintenance of a Desalination Plant Project between the MILG.
Municipal Mayor Moner S. Manisan signed for the local government of Tabuan-Lasa for the PHP12-Million desalination machine in the area which has been completed and turned over earlier this year, Gonzales said.
Sinarimbo said the machine uses reverse osmosis technology to separate water molecules from seawater, which leads to more accessible and safe drinking water for residents of coastal communities.
In working collaboration with local authorities, Gonzales said MILG’s ongoing infrastructure projects in Basilan also include the construction of the Municipal Police Station (MPS) Building in Hadji Muhammad Ajul; as awell as the construction of one story Public Market with a mezzanine in the municipalities of Lantawan, Tuburan, and Ungkaya Pukan.
Sinarimbo said the convergence of efforts of various ministries through the Project TABANG has been initiated by the Office of the Chief Minister “to deliver government services, livelihood, and humanitarian intervention services to the constituents of the region.”
“At the same time, it is also a convergence platform of different Ministries to bring their services closer to the people. It is a manifestation and an affirmation of the Bangsamoro government’s commitment to fulfilling its pledge to uplift the lives of the people of the Bangsamoro,” Sinarimbo added.
The Project TABANG aims to extend immediate direct services to the Bangsamoro families and communities in in need, particularly those affected by calamities and incidents of armed conflict.