A prominent leader of civil society in Mindanao said that acting Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has laid down the foundation of reform in his 100 days in office.
Guiamel Alim, executive director of Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI) and chairman of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) made the remark in an interview with The Mindanao Cross, a Cotabato City-based community paper after Hataman’s State of the Region Address (SoRA) at the ARMM compound in Cotabato City last April 16, 2012.
“He has started to reorganize a working bureaucracy and has already proven that something can be done to improve the performance of the ARMM,” Alim explained.
Though it was ‘a good start,’ Alim, however, stressed that “the challenge ahead is great.”
The new ARMM governor, he said, has yet to show that aside from the initial success in fighting corruption in the Department of Education and Culture (DepEd), he can also do the same in other agencies of the government as well as the LGUs of which he has only supervisory powers.
In his SoRA, the governor highlighted his campaign to curve the endemic corruption in DepEd as an area where his government has made remarkable headway.
Asked on how he would rate Hataman’s performance according to the objectives that were set out at the start of his term, Alim answered that he will give the later “an average grade.”
As the head of the CBCS, the biggest network of Moro civil society organizations (CSOs) in the country, Alim said that his group is open to work in partnership with ARMM in its reform agenda.
However, the ARMM government, according to Alim, “must establish a social contract for cooperation and collaboration towards the goals for reform with all other sectors, including the business, CSOs, military and the traditional leaders among others.”
Hataman’s government, according to him, has been consulting the CSOs from the very start.
“The CSOs will continue to constructively engage with the ARMM government. Specifically, we will help the ARMM government do monitoring to ensure that the reform agenda will push through,” he said.
In the said interview, Alim also stated that the CSOs would like to “optimize every little opportunity within the ARMM to meet the needs of our people.”
Every best practice that we can learn from the present ARMM, he said, can be carried over to any post conflict government: “The ARMM now can serve as a prototype capacity-building institution that will provide hands-on experiences in governance. This will be useful for any future government.”
On his opinion on what should be done during the remaining 18 months of Hataman’s tenure, Alim said that the ARMM government should “aggressively pursue delivery of basic services and continue its anti-corruption campaign. “
Specifically, he pointed out the need for it to lobby for a general re-registration of voters to ensure clean elections. He added that it has to also work closely with the security sector to improve the peace and security in the ARMM and to engage the public in open governance ensuring people’s participation.
“It must lead the local government units in running accountable and transparent governance,” he stressed.
Hataman has been appointed by Pres. Benigno Aquino to head the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government as provided for in Republic Act (RA) 10153. He has only 18 months before the synchronized elections in 2013 to implement an agenda to reform ARMM.