December 21, 2017, Isabela City, Basilan – Basilan Governor Hadjiman “Jim” Hataman-Salliman and mayors Jamal Mansul, Rustam Ismael, Hanie Bud, Gulam S. Salliman-Hataman, and Muctar Junaid of Hadji Muhtamad, Lanatawan, Maluso, Sumisip and Tabuan Lasa, respectively, met with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)-funded “Modeling Inter-LGU Alliance for Basilan” (MILB) Project team and the interim staff of the Alliance Management Office (AMO) at the Conference Room of the Provincial Capitol, this city. Also present was the new provincial administrator, Hadji Manny Muarip and the deputy provincial administrator Nurkaisa Alidain.
In general, the purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the groundworks for the institutionalization of the Western Basilan Alliance (WBA), a grouping on five municipalities on the Western seaboard of the island province as a platform for common development. Specifically, in the meeting, they reviewed the latest version of the Western Basilan Alliance Strategic Plan; clarified relationship between MILAB and WBA; considered inputs to go into the drafting the WBA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for approval by Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Bayan and Terms of references (TORs) for WBA Steering Committee, Technical Working Group and Alliance Management Office.
Governor Hadjiman “Jim” Hataman-Salliman impresses on the participants the need to be actively engaged, emphasizing WBA is not a project from the outside, but a culmination of conversations with partners on how to maximize the relative peace and order now at hand in the Western seaboard communities of the province. He reiterates the need for local leaders to think beyond just being elected and staying in power, but moving towards a higher level of good governance that is primarily driven by collective vision to finally have peace and prosperity in the province, prosperity not just for elite or particular group but prosperity for all.
The local leaders also explored list of existing inter-LGU alliances across the country and noted that most are just concentrated on particular issues like economic development, health and coastal resource management, while their WBA is comprehensive in its focus on agriculture, fisheries, environmental protection, good governance, peace and security, education, health and, in this meeting, they agreed to explore and highlight eco-tourism. They agreed to explore and visit the Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) as being relevant to their WBA context.
Also discussed was the agenda and preparation for the upcoming consultation with barangay captains from the five municipalities scheduled for the first week of January 2018.
This meeting is supported by AECID and implemented by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) through the 18-month “Modeling Inter-LGU Alliance for Basilan” (MILAB) Project. (MILAB/Ramil Tarami)