COTABATO CITY: Residents of Simunul in Tawi-Tawi and visitors, stand to benefit from a new access road, which is part of an P80-million infrastructure package in Barangay Tubig Indangan.
The road leads to the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque, the first Masjid (mosque) in the Philippines and a national historical landmark by the National Historical Commission.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman led the inauguration of the access road recently with Tawi-Tawi Gov. Rashidin Matba, Simunul Mayor Bonjing Abdurahman, Public Works and Highways Secretary Don Mustapha Loong and Tawi-Tawi District Engineer Toni Kamlani.
Included in the P80-million budget is the improvement of Sheikh Karimul Makdum Mosque and the Sheikh Makdum Cultural Center to preserve and promote the cultural and historical significance of the site.
Makhdum is an Islamic preacher from Malaysia who arrived in Tawi-Tawi in 1380. rom then on, Islam became the faith of the Moro people and has been dominant in Bangsamoro life and culture, setting the Moros’ identity apart from the rest of the country.
Through the ARMM’s regional legislative assembly, a management board was created to manage, preserve and promote the Makhdum mosque, as one of Bangsamoro’s historical landmarks. However, it is currently closed to visitors to give way to an ongoing restoration and rehabilitation.
Aside from its tourism development projects in Simunul, the regional government also implemented roughly P321-million worth of projects in the town since 2012 the include bridges, seaports, flood control and water system.
A total of 12 road projects in Simunul worth P191.5 million are being implemented with 64.42 percent completion. The projects are part of the regular infrastructure program of ARMM Department of Public Works and Highways.