ARMM agency bouncing back from ‘most corrupt’ image PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 November 2015 11:29

What was before touted as second most corrupt agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is bouncing back and employees are confident it will again be voted as ARMM’s best this year.

Personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways in the autonomous region on Wednesday commemorated in Cotabato City the 25th anniversary of the agency’s devolution to ARMM with special focus on its accomplishments in the past four years.

The DPWH-ARMM, being managed jointly by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and Regional Public Works Secretary Don Mustapha Loong, has implemented close to P10 billion worth of infrastructure projects in the region since 2012, costly initiatives made open to scrutiny by the media and the local folks.

Insiders confirmed on Wednesday that so mismanaged was the DPWH-ARMM when Hataman took over as the region’s appointed caretaker in December 2011.

He was elected as ARMM’s eighth regional governor during the May 13, 2013 regional polls and continued managing the department on ministerial capacity as a duly mandated regional chief executive.

The DPWH-ARMM has about P10 billion worth of current projects in far-flung areas in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The department was known as the second most corrupt agency in the ARMM during the time of past regional governors, next to the region’s education department, once plagued with ghost teachers and non-existent schools that received monthly grants for operating expenses.

Employees had told reporters the DPWH-ARMM now boasts of an “E-ARMM” online project recording and satellite-based geo-tagging technology, which can readily provide interested parties with information on the agency’s development initiatives.

“People from anywhere in the ARMM can come to us to secure documents and funding details pertaining to our projects,” Loong said.

The DPWH-ARMM was voted as the region’s best during a survey shortly prior to the 2014 celebration of the ARMM’s 24th founding anniversary.

The department’s regional secretary then, Hadji Emil Sadain, now assistant secretary for foreign-funded projects of the DPWH national central office, was also named as ARMM’s top performing chief of agency.

Lamitan City Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay told Daily Zamboanga Times Wednesday they have not been accorded with infrastructure grants by past ARMM governors the way the DPWH-ARMM, under the Hataman administration, had done in the past three years.

“We are thankful to Malacañang, to Gov. Hataman and to Secretary Loong for all of the projects they have accomplished in Lamitan City and also for all of their still on-going projects in the area,” Furigay said.

He said the DPWH-ARMM gave Lamitan City, which has 45 barangays, almost P1 billion worth of projects in the past three years.

Maguindanao Vice Gov. Lester Sinsuat, who is seeking reelection as Liberal Party candidate, said residents in his hometown, Datu Odin Sinsuat, are as grateful to the DPWH-ARMM for providing them costly infrastructure projects designed to accelerate the area’s socio-economic growth.

He said what is fascinating with the projects of the DPWH-ARMM under the Hataman administration is their having been designed to help restore normalcy in conflict-stricken areas in Maguindanao, a bastion of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.