January 19, 2021 at 10:50 pm
Nash B. Maulana
Cotabato City—The Wali stood side by side with the Chief Minister as he banged the gong for the ceremonial raising of the Bangsamoro Banner, alongside the Philippine Flag for the first time in two years.
The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) or Republic Act 11054 creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) took effect with the plebiscite ratifying it on January 21, 2019.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al Hadj Murad Ebrahim officially declared the anniversary activities open to public, saying: “Here we are – hoisting the Bangsamoro Flag next to the Philippine Flag for the first time ever.”.
Sheikh Khalipha U. Nando, the Wali of the Bangsamoro banged the gong to signal declaration of the opening of ceremonies and activities marking the second founding anniversary of BARMM Monday at the Bangsamoro Government Center here.
A wali is an Arabic word more familiar in Malay public administration setup and is variously translated as “authority”, “custodian”, “protector”, “friend” or a “master”, and is also referred to more literally as “friend of God.”
In the BARMM, the Wali, considered as the ceremonial head of the region, has specific functions and qualifications defined by law.
Officials, workers, and residents witnessed the symbolic raising of the Bangsamoro Flag for the first time since the new autonomous setup started two years ago.
The Monday morning banner-hoist ceremonies officially started a series of weeklong activities, marking the second anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
BARMM succeeded the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on February 25, 2019, corresponding to the 4th day of Jamad Al-Akhirah in the Islamic Hijrah Calendar. That date in the Hijrah Calendar corresponds to January 17 in 2021. The region uses dual-calendaring system on matters of records and official activities.
“We can now proudly stay that we have achieved genuine autonomy that encapsulates the long history of the Bangsamoro people – our sacrifices and our shared vision for the next generation,” Ebrahim added.
Rather than spending resources on a more festive mood of marking the region’s second year of existence, officials said they preferred to share the fruits of moral governance with BARMM constituents amid public acquiescence to minimum health standards during pandemic.
School armchairs were distributed by Minister Mohager Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education. For his part, Executive Secretary and Environment Minister Abdulraof Macacua mobilized BARMM’s Ambag (Ayudang Medikal mula sa Bangsamoro Government) with distribution of relief goods and wheelchairs.
Minister Naguib Sinarimbo led the BARMM’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Governments in the launching of regional disaster vehicle and rescue speed boats and equipment.
The Department of Health Center for Health Development in Region 12 has also been turned over to the BARMM’s Ministry of Health under Dr. Ameril Usman, the health minister, and the distribution of agricultural equipment by Dr. Mohammad Yacob, the agriculture and agrarian reform minister.