Big prayer room in refurbished ARMM executive building PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 August 2014 14:32

Clerics were fascinated with the 200-square-meter prayer room in the refurbished “Bangsamoro Office” of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao inside the ARMM compound in Cotabato City.

The worship area is an amenity, if compared to the small space where employees had cramped themselves in during worship rites for more than three decades.

The new prayer room is located beside the office of ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman in the second floor of the 1,600-square-meter two-storey building, rehabilitated with a P51.4 million allocation from savings generated by the regional government in the past two years.

Officials of the regional Jurisconsult, a group of Islamic theologians from  ARMM’s Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces said they are thankful there is now a big space where employees of the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) can perform obligatory daily prayers.

The ORG, touted as ARMM’s “Little Malacanang,” has ministerial control over more than 30 line agencies and support offices whose functions and powers were devolved by Malacanang to the regional government, as provided for by the region’s charter, Republic Act 9054.

Missionaries in the ARMM’s Madaris Education Bureau, led by Alzad Sattar, deputy regional education secretary for religious studies, were just as delighted.

Sattar and his co-preachers are confident the presence of a big prayer room inside the ORG, now named “Bangsamoro Office,” will hasten the religious formation activities of the Hataman administration, meant to promote spirituality in regional governance.

The 38-year-old ORG building was re-opened to the public on Wednesday, after a seven-month general renovation.

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 was replaced in the late 1970s with two separate autonomous self-governing entities, the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook (LTP) in Region 12 and in Region 9.

Both LTPs 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.

ARMM’s public works secretary, Engr. Hadji Emil Sadain, said the funds spent for the conversion of the ORG into a well-refurbished Bangsamoro Office were spent in the most transparent manner.

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