Fishing communities in Sumisip, Basilan will remember President Benigno Aquino III as the president who built for them a seaport they have been wishing for since the 1970s.
The Buli-Buli seaport project in Barangay Buli-Buli in Sumisip town, which has a 440–meter length from shore to sea, is a joint project of Malacañang and Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The P60 million project, being implemented by Engineers Soler Undug and Don Loong, Basilan’s district engineer and ARMM regional public works secretary, respectively, is now 78 percent complete.
Undug said the project is being bankrolled with combined allocations from the ARMM’s 2014 and 2015 infrastructure subsidies from the national coffer.
Undug said the budget matrix, work plan and all financial records of the seaport project are open to scrutiny by the media and any interested civil society organization in keeping with the present ARMM administration’s policy of accountability and transparency in handling development funds.
Sarib Hataman, chairman of Barangay Buli-Buli, said they are grateful to President Aquino and the incumbent ARMM leadership for constructing the seaport.
Chairman Hataman said the seaport will improve the mobility and productivity of local fishing communities.
He said residents of Buli-Buli, a major seaside trading center in Sumisip town, have been wishing for the construction of the seaport since the 1970s, when President Ferdinand Marcos was at the helm of the national government.
“Mga bata pa kami yan na ang pangarap ng aming mga magulang. Salamat at natupad na rin,” said Chairman Hataman, who is a representative of the Basilan Association of Barangay Chairmen to the provincial board.
It is in the Buli-Buli barangay market where fishermen deliver marine products from fishing spots in southwest of Basilan and around the nearby small islands every day.
Loong, who, along with Gov. Hataman, is helping oversee Undug’s office on a ministerial basis, said the seaport project is just one of the dozens of costly projects implemented in the province since 2013.
“More projects will be implemented in Basilan by Gov. Hataman in 2016 and in 2017,” Loong said.
President Aquino was in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip last April to launch the P1 billion “transcentral road” that would connect the cities of Isabela and Lamitan to the hinterlands in the center of the island province.
Undug said the project is expected to be completed by 2017.