DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) — Former three-term mayor Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar of Isabela City, Basilan, newly-appointed Assistant Secretary, has been detailed at the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) where she has been tasked by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to “handle the Bangsamoro projects and activities of the agency,” according to a MinDA press release.
Akbar was introduced to the MinDA Management Committee during a Zoom meeting last Tuesday.
Piñol, according to the press release, tasked Akbar to focus on the development programs in Taraka, Lanao del Sur, one of MinDA’s flagship efforts for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“We cannot fail in Taraka because it plays a critical role, having been selected as the model town for rural development in the Bangsamoro area,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier this month, the Development Bank of the Philippines and MinDA signed a PhP 218-Million loan agreement for the MinDA Water Supply Program (MWSP) in the municipality of Taraka to address the lack of potable water supply and other agricultural facilities in the different barangays there.
The agency through its MinDA Water Program aims to assist local government units in Mindanao with water sources for irrigation and household use through a self-reliance program.
“We at MinDA are striving to change the lives of the people in Taraka and make the community productive and self-reliant. I believe ASec. Akbar can best handle the job,” he said.
“It is a tough job but I will do my very best to prove my worth with the trust given to me by President Rodrigo Duterte,” Akbar said.
Akbar, widow of Governor Wahab Akbar who was killed in a bomb explosion at the parking lot of the House of Representatives in November 2007, served as mayor of Isabela City for three terms (2007 to 2016) and vice mayor from 2016 to 2019. She ran for mayor in 2019 under the ruling party but lost to Sitti Djalia Hataman of the Liberal Party.
Isabela City voted against inclusion in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the 2001 plebiscite and again voted against inclusion in the BARMMM last year. (MindaNews)