ARMM starts Basilan projects to hasten education thrusts PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 February 2016 11:45

Two multi-million public edifices of the education department will rise as “pioneer structures” in the new provincial capitol site of Basilan.

Hadja Nuriya Jamaldin, assistant division superintendent of Basilan public schools, said teachers in the island province were elated with the allocation this week of funds for the two projects by Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The Hataman administration earmarked, through ARMM’s Department of Public Works and Highways, P11 million and a separate P10 million grant for the construction of new offices for the Basilan and Lamitan City schools division, respectively.

The buildings are to rise inside a 60-hectare lot in the now defunct 4,000-hectare University of the Philippines Basilan Land Grant, an agricultural plantation established by Malacanang in the late 1960s in Barangay Santa Clara in Lamitan City, now divided among Muslim and Christian land reform beneficiaries.

The 60-hectare land parcel is the new site for a provincial government complex the Hataman administration is to establish starting this year. The new provincial capitol site is located southeast of Barangay Santa Clara in Lamitan City, the capital of the island province.

John Magno, regional secretary of the Department of Education in the autonomous region (DepEd-ARMM), and Engineer Soler Undug of the Basilan District Engineering Office, signed here Tuesday an agreement detailing cooperation in the construction of the new division offices.

Hataman also affixed his signature to the document, in the presence of local officials from the province and reporters covering the activities of the regional government.

“The DepEd personnel in Basilan are grateful to the ARMM government and to His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III for these good tidings. These projects will boost our morale and inspire us to work harder for our people,” Jamaldin said.

Magno and Hataman are both certain the two buildings shall be built according to specifications and accomplished on time owing to the hands-on involvement of Undug in the implementation of ARMM’s infrastructure projects in all municipalities in Basilan and in the 45 barangays in Lamitan City.

The construction of separate division offices each for the Basilan and Lamitan City schools was just among dozens of projects entrusted by Hataman and Engineer Don Loong, regional public works secretary, to local government units on Tuesday via comprehensive written agreements between them and mayors from recipient local government units (LGUs).

The symbolic signing of the agreements, with imprimatur from the Commission on Audit, was held at the ARMM’s Office of the Regional Governor inside the 32-hectare regional capitol west of Cotabato City.

A summary of fund allocations, obtained from the office of Loong, for the new infrastructure projects of the Hataman administration indicated a grant breakdown of P730 million for Basilan, P614 million for Maguindanao, and P586.1 million for Lanao del Sur.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr on Thursday told reporters via text message he and his constituent-mayors are thankful to Hataman and Loong for the new infrastructure projects for their province.

The latest ARMM infrastructure projects include 819 classrooms, to be constructed in far-flung areas in the region.

Hataman said the rank-and-file personnel of DepEd in the ARMM provinces will help monitor the construction of the school buildings.

“These new school buildings will fill the void caused by lack of school buildings in some areas in the autonomous region,” Magno said.

He said the construction of the new school buildings will start within the first quarter of 2016.

The construction of the new school buildings has an allocation of P1 billion, to be drawn from DepEd-ARMM’s Basic Education Facilities Fund.