SPECIAL GEOGRAPHIC AREA—The celebration of the 5th founding anniversary of the Special Geographic Area (SGA) this year marked a remarkable milestone with the promising gains of peace cherished by the residents.
To kick off the festivities, thousands of residents, guests, and other dignitaries gathered on Sunday, Feb. 11, in Barangay Kapinpilan of Midsayap Cluster, which signifies unity in sustaining peace amidst geographical challenges.
Maguindanao del Norte Governor Abdulrauf Macacua, who personally graced the occasion, hailed SGA as a significant triumph in the Bangsamoro people’s struggle.
“If there would be a win in our struggle, SGA is one of them,” Macacua said explaining further that some other core territories of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) were already part of the region before BARMM’s establishment.
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 BARMM after a successful plebiscite held on Feb. 6, 2019.
Before the plebiscite, 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.
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.
Butch Malang, head of the SGA Development Authority (SGADA), thanked the constituents for their unwavering support.
SGADA is an agency that oversees the government operation in SGA as its respective local government units are yet to be reconstituted.
“Your support even before the creation of SGA is a testament to our commitment to peace and development,” Malang said.
Malang reaffirmed the regional government’s steadfast commitment to SGA, which is evident in various initiatives including the construction of vital infrastructures, livelihood support, health and social services, and capacity development, among others.
With a theme “Celebrating Unity, Progress and Peace in Special Geographic Area-BARMM”, the anniversary celebration offers a range services and entertainment, which will culminate on Feb. 14 in the Pigcawayan Cluster. (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)