In Photo-The Grand Mosque in Cotabato City. Courtesy of MindaNews

DPWH turns-over management of Sultan Bolkiah Grand Mosque to BARMM

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao- Undersecretary Emil Sadain of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) national turned-over Wednesday the management of Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Grand Mosque to BARMM interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim.

The grand mosque is located at Barangay Kalanganan II, Cotabato City.

Mindnews in its report on Friday, January 10 said that, the turn-over of the grand mosque ended a nine-year impasse between the then Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cotabato City, which belonged to Region 12 until the plebiscite on BARMM in January last year, on which entity would manage the country’s largest mosque.

ICM Ebrahim promised to improve the internal and external sections of the mosque, “We will start the renovation effective immediately,” he said.

Around 11 million pesos has been allotted from the Bangsamoro fund to beautify the religious site. The Bureau of Cultural Heritage and the Religious (Mofti) department of the region will oversee the operations, said the Mindanews report.

Sometime in November last year, Finance Secretary Carlos III Dominguez, Head of the national contingent to the Inter-Governmental Relations Body (IGRB) offered to the regional government the mosque’s management in initial talks with BARMM representatives to the IGRB. 

The Grand Mosque, designed by Filipino architect Felino Palafox, was completed in 2011 at a five-hectare lot donated by former Maguindanao 1st District Representative Datu Didagen “Digs” Dilangalen.

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah donated US$43-million for its construction.

The DPWH, which administered the construction, could not decide whether it should turn over the mosque to the regional government or to Cotabato City, said BARMM Spokesman, concurrent Minister of Local Government Naguib Sinariumbo.

This prompted the national government to take charge of the mosque’s maintenance with the help of some generous individuals, Sinarimbo said.

He told Mindanews that Ebrahim had invited Sultan Bolkiah to visit the mosque sometime this year or the next.

Sultan Bolkiah is known for his financial contributions to the construction of mosques. (Source: Mindanews)