ARMM’s executive office rehab fully done PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 13:19

Officials on Wednesday opened to the public the now improved executive building of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City.

The building was rehabilitated with a P51.4 million allocation in preparation for the ARMM’s transition into a Bangsamoro entity.

The 38-year-old building, now named ARMM “Bangsamoro Office,” underwent a seven-month general renovation using savings from the region’s coffer generated in the past two years.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the major rehabilitation of the building, seat of the autonomous region, was the first since its construction in 1976 by then President Ferdinand Marcos, as the center of the Moro-led Office of the Regional Commissioner (ORC).

Marcos established the ORC as the national government’s initial answer to the quest of Moro separatists for self-governance.

The ORC later evolved into two related entities, the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook in Region 12 and in Region 9 in Zamboanga City, which both became defunct with the creation of ARMM after the ratification of its first charter, the Republic Act 6734, through a plebiscite in selected areas in Southern Mindanao in 1989.

The historic LTP-12 building in Cotabato City eventually became the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG), touted as the “Little Malacañang” of ARMM, whose original charter, the R.A. 6734, became R.A. 9054, through another referendum in 2001.

The R.A. 9054 effectively expanded ARMM’s territory, originally covering only Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, to the island province of Basilan and the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

Hataman said they will readily turn over the now plush “Bangsamoro Office,” along with all other properties and assets of the ARMM, to the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front after an enabling measure, deactivating the regional government and establishing an MILF-led Bangsamoro entity, is enacted into law by Congress and ratified through a political exercise involving voters in its proposed core territory.

The launching on Wednesday afternoon of the newly-rehabilitated building was witnessed by local officials from across the autonomous region, among them Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., representatives from the provincial government of Maguindanao, and the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Also present in the event was Oblate missionary Eliseo Mercado, Jr., executive director of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance, a partner entity of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany.

ARMM’s public works secretary, Engr. Hadji Emil Sadain, said the funds spent for the improvement of the ORG into a regional Bangsamoro Office were sourced from savings of the regional government, a result of the stringent handling of its coffer by the present administration.

He said P35,464,657 worth of savings were released for the building repair, augmented with P15,949,720 grant from  Hataman’s office.

Sadain said the repair works and  fund disbursements for the project were made open to all civil society organizations and different media outfits in Central Mindanao.

“The budget for the repair works were spent for electro-mechanical works and new office equipment, including modular partitions,” Sadain said.