Bangsamoro 'SEAL' award for local execs launched

John Unson - Philstar.com
Bangsamoro 'SEAL' award for local execs launched
The municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao was one of dozens that got special awards for good governance from the Bangsamoro government.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Six mayors received this week the Salamat Excellence Award for Leadership, first ever since the inception in the 1970s of Moro autonomy that has become what is now the Bangsamoro government.

The SEAL citation is premised on the efficiency of recipients in governance and in security and community-development initiatives.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao released Wednesday the SEAL awards to Mayors Ramon Piang of Upi, Shameem Mastura of Sultan Kudarat, Midpantao Midtimbang Jr. of Guindulungan and Abdulkarim Langkuno of Paglat, all in Maguindanao.

Mayors Hanie Bud and Ali Sumandar of Maluso, Basilan and Piagapo, Lanao del Sur, respectively, also received a SEAL award each.

The symbolic rite, held at the Bangsamoro capitol here and facilitated by the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, was among the events that capped off the commemoration of BARMM's third founding anniversary that started on Monday and lasted until Friday.

The six SEAL awardees got from the MILG-BARMM a P2.5-million grant each for any feasible peace and development project, a P300,000 worth gold medallion and plaques of appreciation.

The annual grant of the SEAL award starting this year was conceived by BARMM Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo and other top regional officials in honor of the founder of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the late Salamat Hashim, who had studied Islam at the Al-Azzar University in Cairo, Egypt.

The creation of BARMM, whose charter, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, was ratified via a plebiscite in January 2019 in the provinces of the now defunct 29-year Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was a product of 22 years of peace talks between the government and the MILF.

BARMM’s chief minister, Ahod Ebrahim, is the chairman of the MILF’s central committee.

The MILG also conferred during Wednesday’s event at the BARMM capitol here the Lupong Tagapamayapa Incentives Award to 29 barangay governments for good examples in addressing community security issues.

Twenty-four more barangays received from the MILG the Seal of Good Local Governance for Barangays while nine others got citations under the Search for Model Barangays, or SMB program, of the MILG.

Barangay Remfes in Upi, Maguindanao topped in the SMB and got a P1 million cash grant. The eight other model barangays that qualified in the SMB received a P100,000 prize each.

The MILG also cited a number of local government units in the Bangsamoro region for having passed the Local Government Functionality Appraisal and the LGU Grant Assistance for Innovative Practices.

The BARMM has 116 towns in its five provinces --- Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The BARMM was launched in January 2019, a result of the enactment into law by Congress of its charter, the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The grant of limited Moro autonomy, via the Office of the Regional Commissioner and, later, the Lupong Tagapagpaganap ng Pook in Regions 9 and 12, was started in the 1970s by then President Ferdinand Marcos.

The ARMM, created in 1990, during the time of President Corazon Aquino, was replaced three years ago with a more empowered BARMM that has an 80-member regional parliament.


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