MAYOR Muctar Junaid of Tabuan Lasa, Basilan, has forwarded two proposed ordinances to the Municipal Council, in which he declared his priority measures for legislation and approval by the town's lawmakers.

One of the proposed ordinances declared by Junaid as priority for approval is the fishery ordinance "since fishing is our main source of livelihood."

Junaid said the proposed fishery ordinance once approve, will define the municipal territorial waters, thus, will enable them to protect and conserve the shore and the variety of fish that thrive in Tabuan Lasa's waters from hazards posed by strangers.

"Our municipal waters are rich with marine resources but without the appropriate law regulating our municipal waters, we will be robbed of our resources by people who are not residents of Tabuan Lasa," Junaid said.

He said the passage of the proposed ordinance will augment the town’s monthly P3-million Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share, the only source of fund of Tabuan Lasa, which is a fifth class municipality.

"It will make us self-sufficient and our earnings will enormously increase," he said citing the IRA is not sufficient to cater to the needs of the town.

The second proposed ordinance declared by Junaid as priority for approval is Appropriation and Plantilla Ordinance.

"Mindful of the mandate that we, the elected and appointed officials, must deliver the basic services to our people, we need to strengthen our organizational structure," Junaid said.

Recently, Junaid said that they are in the process of evaluating all application papers submitted by individuals who wanted to work with the Municipal Government.

He said that a screening committee will be created to evaluate the applicants to see to it that only competent individuals will be hired in order to assure the municipal government will have a fortified foundation.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," Junaid said citing why he wanted to fortify the foundation of the Municipal Government.

Junaid said he believes that with the approval of the two ordinances it will jump start the progress and development of the municipality.

Tabuan Lasa was created out of the 12 villages of Sumisip town that were not part of the Basilan province's mainland by virtue of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 187, which was subsequently ratified in a plebiscite held on March 29, 2008.

Tabuan Lasa has a population of 25,959 based on the 2007 census conducted by the National Statistics Office.

Junaid, who was appointed as mayor upon the creation of Tabuan Lasa town, is the first elected mayor of the town as he defeated his opponent in the recently held automated national and local elections. (Bong Garcia)