Photo by Comenei Ali/BIO
SPECIAL GEOGRAPHIC AREA—Four (4) years after its inclusion in the new regional autonomous region, residents of the 63 barangays in the Special Geographic Area (SGA) commemorated the historic event today, Feb. 14, in Nabalawag, Midsayap, SGA.
Butch Malang, SGA Administrator said in his message during the event that SGA has been “prospering” since its inception and urged everyone to take care of the 63 barangays.
“Let’s take care of these barangays as these are part of the gains of our struggle,” Malang said.
SGA is composed of 63 former areas or barangays carved out of Cotabato Province. The said barangays became part of the official territory of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) after a successful plebiscite held on Feb. 6, 2019.
On Feb. 14 of the same year, the Commission on Election (COMELEC) En Banc, acting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC), officially proclaimed the inclusion of the 63 barangays of the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigkawayan, and Pikit in North Cotabato in the BARMM.
Initially, 67 barangays signified inclusion in the new autonomous but only 63 barangays made it to the final list which clustered into eight (😎, and later known as SGA.
Member of the Parliament (MP) Mohammad Kelie Antao shared that the transition in the 63 barangays was a great challenge but because of the dedication of the leaders from both the Bangsamoro Government and the Cotabato Province, “it went smoothly”.
“Hindi naging madali yung transition pero dahil sa dedikasyon at suporta ng ating mga leaders, naging matiwasay naman ito,” Antao shared
Antao also thanked the regional government for the programs infused in the SGA, which kept it pedaling.
“Dahil sa regional government, marami ng mga proyekto na naipatayo sa SGA tulad ng mga kalsada, baranggay halls, pabahay at maraming pang iba sa loob lamang ng apat na taon,” he said.
He also thanked Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza, who has been very supportive of the cause of Bangsamoro’s struggles.
Though the 63 barangays are yet to be reconstituted into their respective municipalities, enabling bills are already filed in the regional parliament sponsored by the Government of the Day.
MP and Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal were also present at the event along with other key officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other guests, among others.(Abdullah Matucan/BIO)