LANAO DEL SUR — The newly inaugurated two-storey municipal hall of Butig symbolizes the town’s effort to rebrand itself from a being war-torn zone to being a center of agriculture and eco-tourism of the province.
Housing all municipal offices, it is poised to provide efficient services to residents, ranging from social services to business permit processing and land title applications.
Funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), this centralized hub is a crucial component in streamlining local governance and ensuring that the community’s needs are met promptly and effectively.
The town hall’s inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 19 saw the attendance of prominent Bangsamoro leaders, including former BARMM senior minster and incumbent Maguindanao del Norte Gov. Abdulraof Macacua, MILG Minister Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. and Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Raki-in Adiong.
In addition were Butig Mayor Atty. Dimnatang Pansar and Vice Mayor Bin Khalifa Lucman Pansar, and mayors of both Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao del Norte.
“The best way of improving governance in the region is to create centers of government that are manifest, that are physically there, so that the government can truly be present in the communities where we govern,” Minister Sinarimbo emphasized in his message.
“Kase ho, pagka hindi klaro kung saan ang sentro ng gobyerno, magiging mahirap po sa mga kababayan natin na ma-access yung services”, he added.
[If there is no definite center of government, it will be hard for our constituents to access government services.]
With a vision to rise from its war-torn past, the municipality launched the ‘Butig Beyond Beauty’ campaign during the program.
The rebranding initiative aims to showcase the untapped potential of the town, highlighting its natural beauty, cultural richness, and agricultural resources. Local leaders envision a future where Butig becomes synonymous with growth, prosperity, and sustainability.
“Sisiguraduhin po namin na ang municipal hall na ito will be one of the legacies under the BARMM Government. Saksi ang nakararami at ang kasaysayan na ang nagpapatunay na ang bayan ng Butig ay naging bahagi at simbolo ng pakikipaglaban ng Bangsamoro for freedom and self-determination that we enjoy,” said Mayor Pansar.
On behalf of its citizens, Mayor Pansar envisions Butig as the “living example of stable peace and genuine development in the Bangsamoro region”.
“Miyakasinabuta kami [BARMM administration] ko kapagogopa ami ko languwan na kapakay i-develop sii sa Lanao del Sur. Giyaya Municipality of Butig na naba bo aya kailangan tano na giyangkaya munisipyo. Aya kailangan tano na so ipaguyag ko mga taw. Giya a Butig na agricultural municipality”, said Governor Adiong.
[We, the Lanao del Sur provincial government, together with the BARMM administration, have agreed on initiatives aimed at development of the province. The constituents not just need a municipal hall because what they need is a sustainable source of living.]
Gov. Adiong also emphasized that Butig, being an agricultural municipality, needs further assistance. With this, he called for further support for the development of agricultural lands not just in this town, but the whole province, through provision of agricultural facilities.
To further support the socio-economic progress of Butig, MILG Minister Sinarimbo, handed over checks during the ceremony to Mayor Pansar. The funds are earmarked for Project TUGON, MILG’s comprehensive initiative set to be implemented in Butig. This project is anticipated to address various community needs and further contribute to the municipality’s revitalization.
As Butig embarks on this transformative journey, the collaborative efforts of its leaders, residents, and partners set the stage for a promising future. Amidst progress, Maguindanao del Norte Gov. Macacua called for religious adherence to moral governance among the Bangsamoro stakeholders.
“What is important is nagkakaisa tayo at gagampanan natin ang lahat ng ating dapat gampanan, particularly na we are now campaining for moral governance. Moral governance- pagbabago natin ito,” Macacua said.
[What is important is our unity and fulfilling our individual responsibilities, particularly now that we are campaigning for moral governance. Moral governance is the change we aspired to have.] (Norjana Malawi/BIO)