COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro Region eyes improvements in local governance in more physical and institutional terms to bring the government closer to the people.
Thus, on May 20, the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) opened newly-built barangay hall buildings in the villages of Lower Bager and Patot, Pigcawayan Cluster, Special Geographic Area (SGA).
The Office of Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al-Hajj Murad Ibrahim has appropriated funds for the two-storey buildings worth P3.5 million each through the MILG of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said BARMM has inaugurated a number of its distinctly designed two-storey barangay halls, and also broke ground for more construction of such buildings in the interior adjacent villages of Cotabato province’s 63-barangay SGA under BARMM.
Sinarimbo said apart from the barangay hall buildings to physically enhance governance at the village level, the MILG-BARMM also build capacities for local officials and appointive staff on administrative governance and operations.
Officials of the BARMM MILG’s project management division said similar halls are being built in more barangays of the SGA-BARMM’s Pikit, Pigcawayan and Carmen Clusters in North Cotabato.
Sinarimbo congratulated the local officials for ensuring that all government projects in their political jurisdiction were well implemented.
“Isa po kayo sa mga barangay na maagang nakatapos ng kanilang proyekto,” Sinarimbo said.
Sinarimbo underscored that under the leadership of Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, MILG was instructed to check the needs of all localities and ensure that there will be intervention from the regional government.
Meanwhile, Patot barangay captain Abdullah Alamada expressed his gratitude to the Bangsamoro government for the new project.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami dahil nabigyan kami ng BARMM ng baranggay hall dahil lahat ng tao ay dito nagkakaintindihan,” he said, noting the importance of a barangay hall as a venue in addressing the problems and concerns of the constituents.
He also disclosed that their barangay hall was previously destroyed due to local conflict in the area.
“Dati-rati po, palipat lipat yung barangay hall namin dahil sa kaguluhan tulad ng rido,” Alamada explained.
The village leader said he hoped that the new barangay hall building will ensure the smooth delivery of services to their constituents and added that the hall is considered as an iconic building in the locality.
Barangay Patot—home for more than 3,000 people, mostly Iranun— was one of the 63 barangays in North Cotabato that officially became part of BARMM after they voted affirmatively in the February 2019 plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law.