Fragile tranquility, devt takes off in Lamitan City PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 October 2015 13:34

Culturally-pluralistic barangays in Lamitan City are now recovering from devastations wrought by conflicts through domestic peace and development initiatives involving local Muslim and Christian sectors, officials said Thursday.

Local leaders attribute the feat to the continuing support of residents to the security initiatives of the city government, intended to complement the peace and infrastructure programs of the Office of the Regional Governor  in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

ARMM’s chief executive, Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman, who hails from Sumisip town, about 40 kilometers west of Lamitan City, had poured some P500 million worth of grants for various infrastructure projects in Lamitan City in the past six months.

The projects, which include roads, expansion of the city’s seaport, and farm-to-market arterial networks, were designed to boost the productivity of the local peasant and fishery sectors.

Senior Supt. Oscar Nantes, director of the Basilan provincial police, on Thursday said Muslim and Christian settlers in Lamitan City have actively been helping address security problems too in their respective communities.

Nantes said vigilant residents have secretly been providing the police information on activities of robbery gangs and drug rings.

“We have had remarkable successes in addressing these problems in recent months,” Nantes said.

Lamitan City is the capital of Basilan, a component province of ARMM, which also covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, both in mainland Mindanao and the islands of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

“It is the unity all sectors in Lamitan City, including the police and military, that hastens our recovery from the effects of troubles and security constraints that hounded us in the past,” said Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay.

Muslims and Christians launched early this week Lamitan City’s cross-section “Mural Painting Year 2,” where local artists painted what organizers call “peace graphics,” on concrete walls along thoroughfares, depicting their religious solidarity and how the two groups are rising from the adverse effects of conflicts in years past.

The event was preceded by the city government’s turn over to community leaders in Barangay Limo-ok of a newly-built covered court, which folks can use for their periodic peace dialogues and other related activities.

Lamitan City has 40 barangays, whose residents have experienced armed conflicts resulting from secessionist activities of local rebel groups.

Furigay said they are to turn over soon six more covered courts to barangays where residents have actively been promoting reconciliation and co-existence through interfaith dialogues.

This week’s mural painting activity in Lamitan City was in support of the September 21 to 27 National Tourism Week.