THE Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) and the Army’s 54th Engineering Brigade has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the P199.7 million road concreting projects in the province of Basilan.

Armm Governor Mujiv Hataman and Brigadier General Arnold Fernandez, newly-installed 54th Engineering Brigade commander, signed the MOA after the re-activation ceremony of the engineer command at Camp Arnaldo Fernandez, Jr., in the village of Cabatangan, Zamboanga City.

The road projects comprise the concreting of the 3.5-kilometer Sampinit-Masola Road in Isabela City with an allocated budget of P82.2 million, and the five-kilometer Sampinit-Punoh-Mahadjie Road in Sumisip town with an appropriation of P117.5 million or for a total of P199.7 million.

Engineer Don Mustapha Loong, secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Armm (DPWH-Armm), said the roads form part of the Basilan Transcentral Road and among the first projects being undertaken under Phase II of the Transcentral road project.

Loong said that a total of P806.05 million was allocated for the Phase II Transcentral road project covering 34.3 kilometers.

Hataman said the completion of the projects will bring peace and development to Basilan and deny safe haven to the Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province.

The Basilan Transcentral road project is one of the key connectivity projects of Hataman in Basilan that will reduce travel time between the town of Sumisip and Isabela City, and between Maluso municipality and Lamitan City.

“The project connects different towns located at the center of the province to the Basilan Circumferential Road. This will allow better logistics and people interconnectivity in Basilan,” Loong said.

Among those who witness the signing of the agreement were: Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda, Philippine Army chief; Major General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief; Basilan Governo Hadjiman Hataman-Salliman. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)