Finalist-applicant for ARMM RLA-OIC explains why he seeks appointment PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 02 October 2011 17:09

Fazlur-Rahman Alfad Abdulla, one of the finalist-applicants for the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) representing the first district of Sulu explained why he seeks the appointment.

“Mostly for the purpose of being involved in the process of mending the ARMM system through policy-making and reviews, particularly of region-wide significance, and do it for the benefit of many, if not all, of ARMM citizens,” said Abdulla in a press statement.

He admits that he has no proper preparation, extensive right experiences, massive support of fellow peace and development workers in the entire province, but is personally resolute to dispense mandate if given the chance.

Abdulla, who is a nurse by profession and is the executive director of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center, stressed that with the opportunity to be part this kind of unique temporary set-up in the history of self-rule (ARMM),the OICs would not allow themselves to fail and gone to oblivion.
“Each may want to have excellent passing grades,” he said.

Abdulla recallled that after knowing that the Department of Interior and Local Government issued a notice for anyone interested and qualified to apply as OICs (Officers-in-Charge) for the offices of ARMM Governor, Vice Governor and Regional Legislative Assembly Members, he decided to file an application for the 1st District of Sulu and “it was literally considered a landslide all-out support when loved ones and network partners in public service were consulted regarding the aspiration and hasty near deadline decision to join a very rare opportunity for ordinary sidelined citizens to be selected as regional officers of a contentious region in the Philippines.

Abdulla said he is so motivated to seek the appointment by the words of Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, when the governor said recently — “we must show to the rest that we know good governance, and that we can do it better”.

“There is no assurance of being chosen for the post. But at one’s end, assurance is given to the chooser(s) that yours truly is geared up to have teamwork with ARMM OICs. The aim is not to be employed, but to be deployed by Sulu to ARMM level and be part of incoming leadership’s. If not be picked at all, then it is still business as usual in Sulu. Even without the coveted post, or any official post, the push for better living is unflinching. And whoever would be granted mandate as OICs, they deserve optimum patronage of their constituents to succeed,” Abdulla said.

Abdulla’s  legislative agenda as OIC RLA member includes 1) Filed priority bill to fix permanent seat of government for ARMM, with a twist; equitably emplace strategically the two most functional branches of governance devolved to ARMM in utmost consideration of geographical arrangement of the region. The Executive may be retained in mainland area of ARMM, and the RLA in the island province, preferably Sulu. I am attaching references in the provision of the Organic Act for ARMM for this purpose; 1.1)  Break the monopoly – to have reform in ARMM, there must have no monopoly of one area as host to power institutions in the region. There must be a balance and equity of power among member-localities in ARMM. 1.2) Socio-Economic Boom – even if it has to start from a modest structure, at least it will be in ARMM. It will now entice the host locality to respond to the needs of the constant consumers of their spaces and amenities. Cooperatives could be tapped as potential initiators on this endeavor. 1.3) Security. – the security provisions and planning will even become more elaborate and responsive; 1.4) Cultural Exchange. – Constant exchange from among and between citizens of mainland-based and island-based ARMMizens (ARMM citizens) will not be just mere mandate; it has to become normal mode of life; 1.5)  Transportation. – the distance between island-provinces citing particularly Jolo and mainland (specifically Cotabato City ) is approximately 430 kilometers. But as an autonomous region, that must not be a hindrance in availing direct transportation facilities for the region in exercise of its power; 1.6) Communications. Having the two branches of government in separate locations, it is imperative that mandatory actions by the administration is to have communications facilities installed for regular access between the Executive and Legislative, and all other network of government offices in the region and the whole country; 2) Sit as an active member of Regional Economic Development and Planning Board (REDPB) as one of the representatives of RLA. Thru this forum, I will be able to be involved and further study all PDPFPs of the member-provinces and constantly in tandem with LGU chief executives and their representatives in planning for the development of ARMM; 3) Filed a bill or resolution requiring the Bureau of Public Information or its counterpart in the RLA setting to simulcast regularly via government stations or partner networks the sessions of RLA in order constituents in ARMM will be aware of the activities of their assembly members; 4)  Filed a bill calling for the establishment of schools or institutes in the state colleges and universities within ARMM to formally offer special courses on conservation of cultural heritage (pagluguh, byula, paggabbang, etc.) and other purposes; 5) Steadfastly always vigilant in the full implementation of every projects, programs and plans, particularly on socio-economic policies of the government and CSOs, within the region by every ARMM offices and instrumentalities, along with NGOs, and utilize influence and power as OIC RLA Member to call attention of concerned officials for updates, as reference for legislative support, and as basis for check and balance; 6) File a bill mandating that ARMM Summit Conference be held twice a year for Regional Governor, Regional Vice Governor, RLA Speaker, Provincial Governors, with representatives from the National Government and CSOs, hosted by rotation in strategic areas within the member-provinces/city of ARMM. This will foster strong and closer working relationship between and among Regional and Local Government Officials. This will also be the formal forum and mechanism for the ARMM and LGU officials to reconcile their issues and concerns as far as shared governance is concerned; 7) Effective and prudent fiscalizer from the 1stDistrict of Sulu for Reforms in ARMM; 8)    FULLY SUPPORT, with optimum prudence, and in aid of legislation every effort to strengthen Education (Formal, non-formal, special education, adult literacy, integrated madrasa approach, vocational education), Health (staffing, infrastructure, policies, logistics), People empowerment, inter-faith dialogue, good governance, livelihood and trade, agriculture and fisheries, environmental protection, disaster risk reduction and management, scientific research and advancement, human and civil rights, peaceful co-existence and Security, inter-LGU diplomacy and partnerships 9)      Excellent performance as OIC-RLA Member in terms of; attendance and active interpolations in sessions; bills proposed, approved and supported; very satisfactory REDPB involvement; facilitated priority and very beneficial programs and projects for the 1st District of Sulu; outspoken ADVOCATE for a performing, productive, well governed ARMM.
His priority proposal at RLA:

1. Fix thru legislation the permanent seat of ARMM, or equitably emplace functional branches of ARG; e.g. Executive, could be in mainland, and RLA could be island provinces preferably in Sulu, especially in Maimbung.

a. Article II, Sec. 3 – Seat of Autonomous Government. – the regional legislative assembly, hereinafter referred to as the Regional Assembly, shall by law, fix the permanent seat of government of the regional government in any province or city that is a member of the autonomous region, taking into consideration accessibility and efficiency in which its mandate may be carried out under this Organic Act.

Until the seat of the regional government is transferred as provided above, its provisional seat shall be in Cotabato City . The Regional Assembly elected after the plebiscite mentioned in this Organic Act, shall, within its term, identify the site of the permanent seat of the regional government. The central government which shall also mean the national government shall appropriate funds for the transfer of the provisional seat to its permanent site as determined by the Regional Assembly.
b. Article III, Sec. 7. Improving Status of the Marginalized. – The regional government shalldevote its resources to the improvement of the well-being of all its constituents, particularly the marginalized, deprived, disadvantaged, underprivileged, disabled, and the elderly.

c. Article III, Sec. 9. Preferential Rights of Inhabitants and their Safeguards. – The autonomous region shall provide manpower training programs, create livelihood and job opportunities, allocate equitable preferential rights to its inhabitants, and adopt laws that will safeguard the rights of workers.

d. Article XI, Sec. 3. Equitable Development – The regional government shall provide equitable opportunities for the development of every province, city, municipality, and barangay within its jurisdiction and shall strengthen their existing planning bodies to ensure wider public participation.

e. Article XII, Sec. 1. Regional Economy and Conservation of Patrimony. – Consistent with the Constitution and existing laws, the Regional Assembly may enact laws pertaining to regional economy and patrimony that are responsive to the needs of the region.