DPWH-ARMM clean, ready for Bangsamoro transition process PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 11:58

The public works department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is ready to turn over to the incoming Bangsamoro government some P2 billion worth of infrastructure projects implemented from January 2012 to September 2014, officials said.

Hadji Emil Sadain, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways in the autonomous region, confidently said on Tuesday they can still accomplish more infrastructure projects in the coming months, before the transition from ARMM to the Bangsamoro entity can start.

The enabling measure for the ARMM’s replacement with a more politically and administratively empowered Bangsamoro entity, the draft Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL), is now in Congress, awaiting enactment.

The creation of the Bangsamoro entity is part of the final peace compact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the March 27, 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.

Employees of the DPWH-ARMM celebrated in Cotabato City last Monday the 24th devolution anniversary of the agency, based on a special order by then President Corazon Aquino, issued after the creation of the autonomous region via a plebiscite in 1990.

The rank-and-file personnel of the DPWH-ARMM are aware Monday’s festivity could be their last, owing to the the possible enactment next year of the draft BBL, which will, as a legislative consequence, establish the MILF-led Bangsamoro outfit.

The DPWH-ARMM was adjudged last July 2014 by a group of civil society organizations and auditors as the regional government’s “top performer” in terms of completion of projects and transparent handling of infrastructure grants from the national coffer.

“We will pursue the implementation of more capital intensive projects before the transition process starts,” Sadain said.

Sadain and the ARMM’s chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, managed to establish in recent months two district engineering offices — in the second district of Lanao del Sur and in Lamitan City, capital of Basilan province — using savings from the agency’s 2013 and 2014 budget.

The two new engineering offices were provided, to ensure functionality, with itemized staff and manpower complement, fully covered by civil service laws, by the central office of the Department of Budget and Management.

Hataman had told DPWH-ARMM employees they need to “do a sacrifice” by vacating their posts if the transition process will necessitate, to hasten the attainment of lasting peace in Southern Moro communities.

Hataman, who has been at the helm of ARMM since December 2011, assured the agency’s personnel the MILF, Congress and Malacañang will surely work on the indemnification of employees whose offices might be deactivated as a consequence of the creation of the Bangsamoro self-governing entity.

The DPWH-ARMM generated a total of P250 million worth of savings from project and operating funds in recent months owing to the prudent handling of its coffer by incumbent officials.

“This department will proudly turn over to the Bangsamoro government `honestly implemented projects’ and all of its fiscal and property assets in the event of a transition from the present ARMM set-up to the Bangsamoro entity,” Hataman said, referring to the DPWH-ARMM.

Hataman approved on Monday the grant of a P15,000 cash bonus to each career service employee of the DPWH-ARMM and a P7,000 cash incentive for casual and contractual workers as “anniversary bonus” in recognition of their dedication and prudence in performing their duties.