COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) officially kicked off the week-long celebration of its 3rd founding anniversary on Monday, January 17, through an opening program and banging of a “gong” held inside Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC) in this city.
In his opening message, BARMM Senior Minister Abdulraof Macacua mentioned the historical milestones the Bangsamoro Government gained for the past three years.
“For the past 3 years only, we achieved the decrease in BARMM poverty incidence, the approval of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) extension, an increase investment and employment rate, strengthened Halal industry development, high number of land distribution, and the most recent is the approval of our 2022 BARMM budget”,Macacua said.
“We began our journey from fighting for our right to self-determination to implementing Moral Governance. We have gained several developments and we deserve to feel more joyous about this and celebrate the Bangsamoro that we will continue to build”, he added.
Macacua stressed that the regional government will remain steadfast in its vision to create a “united, enlightened, self-governing, peaceful, just, morally upright, and progressive Bangsamoro.”
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, on the other hand, urged everyone to work closely and sustain the gains of peace and moral governance.
“Let us also continue honoring those who made this possible – our mujahideen, our martyrs, our families and of course, to the workforce who are now making this government work especially at a time of uncertainty and crisis. This celebration is dedicated to all of you”, he further said.
“On this 3rd Bangsamoro Foundation Day, let’s celebrate our wins and recognize our lessons along the way, especially those chapters that are close to our communities. After all, the heart of this transition period is to improve the lives of our people”, Chief Minister said, reflecting this year’s theme: “Changing People’s Lives, Transforming the Bangsamoro: Celebrating and Sustaining the Gains of Peace and Moral Governance”.
Meanwhile, Bangsamoro Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong emphasized in his speech that the security sector have confirmed a remarkable decline of incidents of violent extremism and presence of lawless elements in BARMM.
“The region is no longer a safe haven for them (extremist) because it has been transformed into a productive community that we ensure sustainable livelihood and economic opportunity,” Balindong said.
“In the last three years of operation, we have had tremendous gains in the delivery of basic services to our people and we have worked hard to defy the odds and prove our critiques are wrong,” he added. (Kasan M. Usop, Jr./BIO)