Another housing development project will soon be implemented in Basilan after officials of the Ministry of Human Settlements and Development, the Housing Arm of the BARMM, signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Local Government of Akbar, held at the Conference Room of the MHSD Regional Office, Bangsamoro Government Center, Cotabato City on January 18, 2024.

The project will construct an entrance archway, 50 resettlement housing units and solar powered water system level III, all to rise in Brgy. Upper and Lower Bato-Bato, Akbar, Basilan, based on the presentation shared by Engr. II Borjan T. Gumaga and Archt. II Abubakar Abdullah E. Pangadil. 

Minister Atty. Hamid Aminoddin D. Barra expressed delight at another MOA signing. He shared that, despite the Ministry being new and having no direct counterpart in the ARMM then, the MHSD was still able to reach out to the Bangsamoro constituents as it is mandated to work on the improvement of housing and human settlements. He lauded Basilan for the numerous housing projects turned over throughout the MHSD’s operations, particularly in the municipality of Maluso where the first-ever turnover of housing units was conducted.

Deputy Minister Aldin H. Asiri, Focal Person for the Island Provinces, was expectant of the project’s success, delighted and happy to have the opportunity to serve the Bangsamoro with the project. He reminded the LGU that, as the implementation begins, to be mindful of any challenges that may be met. He said that the MHSD, especially direct focal MHSD-Basilan Provincial Director (PD) Ibrahim M. Haruddain, LPT, will be available and open to overcome such challenges together to expedite the project.

Director General (DG) Esmael W. Ebrahim welcomed the participants, stating that the project funded under the Special Development Fund (SDF) 2022 was entrusted to the MHSD by the national government to aid the Bangsamoro constituents, especially those affected by conflicts

PD Haruddain committed with Hon. Mayor Alih A. Sali to work together for the project’s successful implementation, ensuring the best quality of the housing units and their fastest completion

Mayor Sali was especially looking forward to residents returning from displacement after years of being forced to flee by recurring conflicts. He hopes that, through this housing project, more development projects will aid the Akbar residents in rebuilding their communities.

The activity was facilitated by the Planning and Design Division, with active participation from Director II for Operations and Management Services Salem C. Demuna, Legal Officer Atty. Nasihah S. Mamarungcas, and Information Officer Salembai A. Abdullah. Meanwhile, officials and representatives with Mayor Sali were Municipal Engineer Rosemalyn C. Mamburan and the municipal administrator.

Akbar was created through Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 193 dated December 20, 2005. It is composed of 9 barangays that were formerly part of Tuburan, including one island barangay.