Basilan’s erstwhile ‘shabu capital’ gets SGLG award

Published June 11, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Ali G. Macabalang

Cotabato City – Maluso, which had been infamous for being the “shabu capital” of Basilan province, has received the Seal of Good Local Government (SGLG) award in 2017 alongside 18 other component municipalities of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), according to authorities.

Maluso town used to be the source of shabu or crystal meth in the entire province until hundreds of drug users and peddlers surrendered in batches in past two years, Basilan Provincial Police Director Senior Supt. Nickson Muksan said in a report published over the weekend.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officials said on Saturday that seven of the 20 barangays in Maluso have been declared “drug-free” based on last year’s assessments.

Hanie Bud, first-termer mayor of Maluso, said he and his constituents were elated after learning that the town made it to the list of SGLS awardees released by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) last week.

“We have not even completed full housecleaning goals, yet we already have this SGLG award. This will bolster our efforts to bring our town to greater heights,” Bud was quoted as saying.

Basilan’s Lamitan City and Sumisip municipality, hometown of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, also bagged the SGLG awards in 2017.

Bud said he was thankful to the ARMM leadership for helping boost his peace and socio-economic projects, citing the infusion into his town of over P300 million worth of infrastructure projects from the autonomous government in past years. ARMM has earmarked P500 million worth of more projects in his town for this current year, he said.

Sixteen other municipalities in ARMM were also named 2017 SGLG awardees, the DILG official website said. These are the towns of Calanugas, Kapatagan and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur; Barira, Bulson, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Paglas, Gen. S.K. Pendatun, Kabuntalan, Matanog, Parang, Rajiah Buayan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, and Upi in Maguindanao; Jolo and Talipao in Sulu.