Basilan hospital upgrade, new sports academy proposed by Rep. Hataman

House bills seeking to establish a medical center, a science high school, a multi-species hatchery, and a sports academy were among the first measures filed at the Lower Chamber by a congressman of the lone district of Basilan for his constituents in 19th Congress.

Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman (Photo from ARMM Bureau of Public Information via Facebook)

Reelected Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman filed these four priority local measures, as embodied in House Bills No. 1057, 1058, 1059 and 1060 on Monday, July 4.

A statement from his office said these bills would ensure the “development and welfare of his constituents by promoting the areas of healthcare, education and livelihood.”

“Nakabangon na mula sa masamang imahe ng terorismo ang Basilan. At nagsimula nang mabuhay muli ang ekonomiya at turismo ng aming lalawigan. Kailangan lang nating sabayan ang pag-unlad ng mga mamamayan ng mga karampatang panukala na susuporta sa kanilang pag-angat (Basilan has risen from the bad image of terrorism. And it started when the economy and tourism of our province were revived. We just have to go with the progress of citizens by making appropriate proposals that will support their growth),” Hataman, a former governor of the now-defunct ARMM, said.

Under HB 1057, it seeks to expand the 100-bed capacity Basilan General Hospital into a tertiary level hospital to be known as the Basilan Medical Center.

On the other hand, HB 1058 and 1059 aim to establish a Basilan Science High School and a multi-species hatchery, respectively, in Isabela City.

Hataman is also strongly pushing for the establishment of the Basilan Sports Academy, saying this will encourage their youth to go into sports and avoid falling victims to violent extremism and illegal drugs.

“Basilan’s very own pride Joey delos Reyes won silver medal in the men’s duathlon of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. His success has become an inspiration to fellow Basileños to compete in prestigious sporting events. The province has quite a pool of sports talents that needs guidance and training,” according to HB 1060’s explanatory note.

On Monday, the Basilan representative also formally filed the resolution seeking a congressional review of the Hajj coordination program of the government following the drawbacks suffered by Filipino Muslim pilgrims this year.

Hataman believes it is time the Philippine government pass a legislation that will make the Hajj a “great experience” for Filipino Muslim pilgrims.

It may even be the right time to follow the best practices of other countries in the process of coordinating the Hajj experience, he added.

As one of the five pillars of the Muslim faith, the Hajj involves a pilgrimage to the holy place of Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Reports said that almost a thousand Filipino pilgrims were stranded in Metro Manila because of flight cancellations and visa problems.

The National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) is mandated to coordinate the Hajj for pilgrims.

Hataman said that though they aren’t blaming anyone for the “mishap,” they don’t want a repeat of what happened and want his fellow Muslims to have a good Hajj experience.