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Eight Mindanao lawmakers have banded together to push for the creation of a National Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to implement the department’s national program in the newly established region.

To achieve such a purpose, Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman, Maguindanao Reps. Datu Ronnie Sinsuat Sr. and Esmael Mangudadatu, Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison, Tawi-Tawi Rep. Rasidin Matba, Lanao del Sur Reps. Yasser Alonto Balindong and Ansaruddin Abdul Malik Adiong and Anak Mindanao Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan filed House Resolution No. 333 last Friday.

Hataman said he and his colleagues felt that there may arise a problem in the implementation of the DPWH’s national program in BARMM given the present circumstances.

“So ito ang naisip naming solusyon. Yung mag-create ng isang National DPWH sa BARMM para wala nang sagabal sa full implementation ng national DPWH program sa BARMM,” the former ARMM governor said.

“Ito naman ang objective natin sa lahat ng ating ginagawa, ang siguruhing successful ang BARMM sa lahat ng aspeto, Ina-anticipate lang namin ito bago pa maging problema,” he added.

The Basilan representative also said the situation is compounded by the fact that the national government has adopted a cash budgeting system when it comes to appropriations as contained in EO 91 issued by President Duterte.

“Ang ibig sabihin nito, dapat magamit ang pondo within a fiscal year. Pag hindi nagamit ang appropriations after three months or a certain time, babalik ito sa National Treasury. So dapat talaga, may National DPWH sa BARMM to ensure that infrastructure projects proceed on time and on schedule,” Hataman explained.

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