2 BARMM execs retain high posts; another named transport chief

John Unson - Philstar.com
2 BARMM execs retain high posts; another named transport chief
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim signed this week the appointments of more than a dozen heads of ministries and support offices under his ministerial control.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro chief minister has reappointed two heads of ministries essential to the southern peace process and tapped another to manage an equally important regional outfit.

The move followed the September 15 inaugural session here of the newly-reconstituted 80-seat Bangsamoro interim parliament that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended, about four weeks after he appointed members of the bloc, to serve from 2022 to 2025.

Members of the 2019-2022 regional parliament, also known as the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, were appointees of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

Muslimin Sema and Naguib Sinarimbo were reappointed this week by Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as labor and local government ministers, respectively.

Sema and Sinarimbo are in the forefront of the BARMM government’s peace and development initiatives in all five provinces and three cities under its jurisdiction.

Sema, who had served as mayor of Cotabato City for three consecutive terms, is chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front.

The MNLF is actively supporting the peace and security programs of BARMM whose chief minister is chairman of the central committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The MNLF and the MILF have separate peace agreements with Malacañang.

Sinarimbo, a lawyer, who will remain at the helm of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, is instrumental in putting up dozens of municipal government buildings and police stations in different towns in the Bangsamoro region in the past two years.

As local government minister, Sinarimbo is overseeing, in a concurrent capacity, the operation of BARMM's Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, a contingent of well-trained disaster and calamity responders.

The Ministry of Labor and Employment is focused on reintroducing into the region’s labor sector a big number of Moro and non-Moro overseas workers who lost their jobs abroad as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MOLE, under Sema, also has interventions meant to provide decommissioned Moro guerillas with either employment, or entrepreneurial livelihood support.

Ebrahim named a member of the new parliament, the accountant-lawyer Paisalin Tago, as BARMM’s transportation and communications minister.

Tago was a member of the 2019-2022 Bangsamoro parliament. He was a senior official in the executive department of the now defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao when Lininding Pangandaman was ARMM regional governor from 1993 to 1996.

Tago had also served as speaker of the ARMM’s erstwhile 21-member Regional Assembly.

Regional officials said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications also has a big role in furthering the socio-economic agenda of the BARMM government.

The  provinces and cities in the autonomous region are separated by rugged mountain ranges and seas and poor communication connectivity, among local government units and constituent-communities, is a concern BARMM is struggling to address.

The ARMM was replaced with BARMM in early 2019, a result of 22 years of peace talks between the government and the MILF.

The BARMM has more than a dozen ministries and a number of support offices under the ministerial control of Ebrahim.

Ebrahim has not appointed a health minister yet.

Various sectors have urged him to entrust the health ministry to a physician in the 2022-2025 parliament, the multi-awarded Kadil Sinolinding, Jr.

Sema, Sinarimbo, Tago and Sinolinding are all staunch supporters of Malacañang’s Mindanao peace process aiming to put diplomatic closure to the decades-old quest of the Moro communities for peace and development via self-governance.


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