The national government has turned over the management of the country’s biggest and panoramic Grand Masjid of Brunei Sultan Bolkiah in this city to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Ministry of the Interior and Local Government secretary, said Thursday that Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Emil Sadain turned over the documents transferring the management of the religious facility to BARMM, headed by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim.
The turnover was held in a ceremony Wednesday in this city.
Ebrahim has assured DPWH as well as the BARMM constituents that the regional government will improve the Grand Masjid located west of this city.
“We will ensure that the mosque will be maintained effectively to preserve its value as a place of worship,” Sinarimbo told Philippine News Agency.
Sinarimbo said the Grand Mosque, named after the Sultan of Brunei, who funded its construction, will be maintained as one of the tourist attractions in BARMM.
It can be recalled that Department of Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez offered the management of the Grand Mosque in November last year to Ebrahim.
President Rodrigo Duterte named Dominguez to head the Inter-governmental Relations Body (IGRB), representing the national government, and tasked to coordinate devolution of functions and powers to the autonomous government.
BARMM’s Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal is Dominguez’ counterpart.
The Mosque was designed by Architect Felino Palafox and is located at a five-hectare lot in Barangay Kalanganan, this city. Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah donated USD43 million for the construction of the mosque.
The management of the mosque, which was completed in 2011, remained under the DPWH since this city and the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) refused to assume management responsibility of the mosque.
Sinarimbo said the office of the BARMM Grand Mufti will be tapped to manage the Grand Mosque. (PNA)