Friday Nov, 22 2019 04:55:14 AM

Once troubled Basilan town now has radio station

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 21:15 PM Sun Oct 13, 2019
John M. Unson
The new FM radio station in Maluso, Basilan will start operating on Oct. 14

BASILAN --- Stakeholders will launch Monday a “peace radio” in the former shabu capital of Basilan province whose municipal government got two Seal of Good Local Governance citations in the past two years.

Besides having a new radio station, the municipality of Maluso, where the Abu Sayyaf once had camps, also boasts of a branch of the Land Bank of the Philippines in its town center established just a year ago.

The new FM station, to focus on peace-building programs to foster religious and cultural solidarity among Muslim and Christian communities, is a common project of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance, or IAG, the Zamboanga Integrated Development Alliance and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development.

The setting up of the broadcast facility is part of the Modeling Inter-Local Government Alliance in Western Basilan Project of the three entities and the office of the now second termer Gov.  Jim Salliman.

The IAG, a partner of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany, has been helping capacitate via governance interventions and continuing educational forums for two decades now the local government units in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that got replaced early this year with a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Maluso Mayor Hanie Bud told reporters Sunday he is thankful to the organizations that provided them with a radio station that they can use as platform for propagation of peace in the context of religious tolerance and cross-section cooperation in furthering domestic development initiatives.

The LGU of Maluso received the Seal of Good Local Governance in 2017 and, subsequently, in 2018, from the office of Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año for efficient fiscal management and its continuing peace and security programs intended to restore normalcy in all of its component-barangays.

The LGU is again a candidate for the 2019 SGLG citation from the central office of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“We shall be forever grateful to the IAG and its local and foreign partners, to the provincial government of Basilan and to the office of our congressional representative,” said Bud, who got to the helm of the Maluso LGU, as a first-termer mayor, only in 2016.

Maluso then was notorious for unsettled vendetta feuds involving heavily-armed families besides its being the major transshipment point for shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in Basilan province that covers two cities, Isabela and Lamitan, and 10 other towns.

The municipality, home to mixed Muslim and Christian residents, now has white sand beach resorts in seaside barangays where there was Abu Sayyaf presence in the past.

In a statement Sunday, the IAG said its development initiatives in Basilan are being supported extensively by Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman, the lone congressional representative in the island province.

The IAG said representatives from peace advocacy groups helping carry out their capacity-building programs for LGUs in Basilan are expected to grace the symbolic launching of the radio station in Maluso. 


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