HATAMAN’S REFORM INITIATIVES (Basilan’s circumferential road completed after 20 long years) PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 July 2015 11:29

After more than two decades under three presidents, the very important circumferential road of Basilan province, has finally been completed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) under the leadership of reform-oriented Gov. Mujiv Hataman.

This and other several infrastructure accomplishments across the autonomous region consisting of six provinces in southern Philippines were bared by Gov. Hataman and his competent ARMM-DPWH Secretary Don Mustapha Loong in a press briefing in this city Sunday.

Hataman said the still not paved parts of the road are just few meters which will be totally finished before his term ends in 2016.

The Basilan circumferential road is seen as essential not only to economic development, but also to the peace and order condition because it  will keep armed and lawless elements away from developed areas where before they had been staging harassments and terror acts.

The ARMM governor said land travel time from one municipality to the city of Isabela or Lamitan has sharply reduced by at least two hours because of the well concreted road.

“Before Basileños arriving from Zamboanga City on the last boat trip usually spent overnight in Isabela or Lamitan before proceeding to municipalities like Sumisip, Tipo-Tipo or Maluso, but now there are passenger vans waiting to bring them home,” Hataman revealed.

He said there are even tricycles making trips from Isabela City to the remote towns.

The construction of the circumferential road started during the administration of former president Fidel Ramos, but it had suffered delays and other hitches due to lack of political will and good governance. Only ARMM under Hataman’s leadership that the road project was pursued with vigor.

During the press briefing, Hataman and Loong put up a Powerpoint presentation showing the various infrastructure projects ARMM under Hataman had undertaken such as roads, bridges, water systems and school buildings six provinces.

Other highlights of the press briefing:

* From mere P1 billion allocation in 2012 when Hataman assumed as governor, ARMM’s budget  went up to P20 billion due to trust and confidence from the national administration.

*Hataman revealed several reforms implemented on ARMM’s different agencies resulting in the suspension of corrupt officials like cashiers and the savings of millions of pesos.

Meanwhile, Hataman said he will welcome any dialogue officials of Zamboanga City will initiate regarding the Cabatangan properties.

“The problem is that I have not received or heard of any official invitation for a dialogue... Kung sa akin lang yon Cabatangan properties, i-benta ko na yon sa city government... But it belongs to ARMM... Before I can make any decision on it, I have to seek appoval from the RLA (Regional Legislative Assembly),” he said.

The city government has been seeking to acquire the Cabatangan land by asking the national government to buy it from ARMM and sell it to Zamboanga City, an action that allowed under ARMM’s Organic Law.

The city government’s last option if there is no action from Malacañang is to file a mandamus case with the Supreme Court to compel the Aquino administration to sell the land to Zamboanga City.