'3 new doctors from Basilan proof that province on path to peace, progress'

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Three of those who passed the latest physician's licensure examination are from Basilan, another source of pride for the island province.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman said in a statement Saturday that he and his constituents are proud of having three more medical board passers in the province: Nada Hasanin Abdulmalik Ukkung, Irshada Palentinos Hasan and Dalvin Roy Wong.

"This proves that Basilan has indeed risen from its image of a so-troubled province. We have produced many professionals in the past five years," Salliman said.

A number of Basilan residents have become licensed physicians, lawyers, engineers, pharmacists and medical technologists during the period.
Salliman, now on his second term as provincial governor, said one of the goals of his administration is to set up more learning institutions in remote areas in Basilan to sustain the peace now in the island province.

"Education is one of the solutions to peace and security issues in the province," he said.

The provincial government of Basilan and the office of the lone congressional representative in the province, the Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman, have jointly secured the surrender of close to 300 local Abu Sayyaf members from 2016 to early this year through backdoor negotiations.

The now reforming former Abu Sayyaf bandits are being reintroduced into Basilan's local communities with the help of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and the military's Western Mindanao Command.

"Providing our people with livelihood and infrastructures needed to improve their productivity is also essential to our efforts of producing more professionals from our local youth sector," Salliman said.