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P250 million worth Basilan provincial government center up

 • 02:34 AM Mon Jul 11, 2016
John Unson
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman led Friday’s groundbreaking rite for the P250 million worth new Basilan provincial government center. (Pablan Alih, DILG-Basilan)

COTABATO CITY --Officials launched on Friday the construction of a new, colossal provincial government center in Barangay Santa Clara in Lamitan City in the island province of Basilan.The P250 million worth project shall be bankrolled by the executive department of the Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman led local officials in officiating Friday’s groundbreaking rite for the project, to be implemented by the office of Engr. Soler Undug, chief of the Basilan District Engineering Office (DEO).Also present in the event were Basilan’s newly-elected governor, Jim Hataman, the new congressional representative of the island province, Jum Akbar, and spouses Rose and Roderick Furigay, mayor and vice mayor of Lamitan City, respectively.Akbar, a political ally of the Hatamans, was governor of Basilan for three consecutive terms, which lasted from June 30, 2007 to June 30, 2016.Hataman said the office of the provincial governor and the local government unit of Lamitan City will help oversee the project.The center will accommodate all provincial offices of line agencies of the ARMM regional government.The building shall be constructed on a prime lot inside what used to be a government agricultural facet, the 6,000-hectare University of the Philippines Land Grant, which has rubber and orchard farms now owned by thousands of Muslim and Christian agrarian reform beneficiaries.Furigay, now in his second term as vice mayor of Lamitan City, said he is grateful to the ARMM governor for deciding to put the facility at Barangay Sta. Clara, home to mixed Muslim and Christian settlers. This facility is to become a strong semblance of government, an icon of governance in the province,” Furigay said.Furigay said he is certain Undug and his subordinates in the Basilan DEO can implement the project according to specifications and timeframe. We don’t have problem with the way these engineers implement the costly infrastructure projects in Lamitan City and nearby towns,” Furigay said.Lamitan City became the new capital of Basilan when residents of the nearby Isabela City, the former seat of the provincial government, voted against the inclusion of their barangays into the expanded territory of ARMM during a plebiscite in August 2001.Isabela City, while inside Basilan, remained under Administrative Region 9 despite its being inside an ARMM component province.Besides Basilan, ARMM also covers Maguindanao and Lanao de Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

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