COTABATO CITY CITY – Dozens of local government units in the Bangsamoro region received special awards Monday, January 23, for high-performance ratings and efficient anti-narcotics campaigns.
The activity, held here and jointly facilitated by Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr. and his counterpart in the region, Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, was among the highlights of the weeklong celebration of the fourth founding anniversary of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that started Saturday and shall culminate on Friday.
BARMM’s charter, the Republic Act 11054, was ratified via a referendum in January 2019, setting up a more empowered regional autonomous government that replaced the then 29-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Lamitan City, the provincial government of Basilan, and two towns in the island province, Maluso, and Sumisip, were among 57 local government units that got awards each for high ratings in the Local Government Functionality Appraisal by the BARMM government via its Ministry of the Interior and local government.
Abalos and Sinarimbo also released monetary incentives, amounting to millions of pesos, to Lamitan City and 14 other municipal governments, including Upi town in Maguindanao del Norte, which is a bastion of the non-Moro Teduray tribe, for having received the Seal of Good Local Governance last year from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The yearly grant by DILG’s central office of the SGLG to deserving municipal, city and provincial governments is premised on good governance and efficient public service, environmental, socio-economic, and security thrusts of nominated LGUs.
Ten barangays in Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur and another in Sulu also got awards for having won the regional local government ministry’s 2022 Search for Model Barangays.
A total of 39 LGUs, including Lamitan City, one of three cities in BARMM, got special citations for getting through, with high ratings, the joint Anti-Drug Abuse Council Functionality evaluation by the Bangsamoro government, the regional police, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Five municipalities — Datu Blah Sinsuat and Upi, both in Maguindanao del Norte, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Abdullah Sangki, and Datu Paglat, all in Maguindanao del Sur — had earlier received awards for having passed the national ADAC evaluation.
Datu Blah Sinsuat, covering 13 seaside barangays in the west of Maguindanao del Norte, is a peaceful town and is touted as the fishing capital of the province. Datu Blah Sinsuat Mayor Marshall Sinsuat and the office of Sinarimbo are now constructing a municipal government center and five barangay halls in the municipality.
In a message, Abalos told participating LGU officials and guests in Monday’s event, among them, were BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua, and regional police officials led by Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon.
Abalos said he was impressed with the improvements in local governance in the autonomous region, brought about by interventions by the barely four-year regional government.
The program was capped off with the MILG’s grant of special recognition and other incentives to Mayor Reynalbert Insular of South Upi, Maguindanao del Norte, recipient of the Bangsamoro government’s Salamat Excellence Award for Leadership.
The MILG also provided special recognition and grants for the LGU of Datu Paglat in support of its domestic “quality education” program for constituents and the radio station DXUP of the municipal government of Upi for its advocacy on moral governance and community empowerment. (JOHN UNSON)