BY ASANGAN T. MADALE
BAE AMENAH F. PANGANDAMAN Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) yesterday lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for officially signing an Administrative Order (AO) constituting a steering committee for the commemoration of the 650th Anniversary of Philippine Muslim History and Heritage on Tuesday, November 7, 2023,
Based on the Press Release obtained by the Manila Times ,Pangandaman as a born Mindanaoan being the only female Muslim cabinet member under the administration of President Marcos have expressed her gratitude toward the President as the creation of the committee will be crucial in continuously recognizing the presence of Islam in the country and the important role of Muslim Filipinos in shaping our history and heritage.
She also likewise assured of her continued and strengthened support for Mindanao including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) along with their various programs enhancing for peace and development towards improving their economic growth and development.
She thanked President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr for signing the Administrative Order constituting the Situniayat Wakhamsun Aldhikraa National Committee which shall take charge of the preparations in this celebration as now. Wala pang isang taon napirmahan na ni President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ang Administrative Order. Dito mo makikita na kay Pangulong BBM,hindi kailanman mapapabayaan and Mindanao”,
She continued, “Rest assured that the Committee, chaired by the Executive Secretary, with the NHCP as vice-chair and with DBM as one of its members, will undertake the overall study, conceptualization, and implementation of programs and projects relevant to the commemoration with the end goal of reinvigorating the spirit of national unity. Sa Bagong Pilipinas, makaka-asa po kayong lahat na bibigyang prayoridad natin ang Mindanao.”
Also known as project “650PH in 2030,” the initiative will mark the 650 years of Islamic presence in the Philippines in 2030. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) targets to drumbeat its commemoration in 2024.
Philippine Muslim History scholars agree that the beginning of the Islamic faith in the country took place between 1350 to 1380, making Islam the oldest monotheistic religion in the Philippines with close to seven million practicing the faith.
The President’s signing of the AO coincides with the celebration of the 643rd Sheikh Makhdum Day and the Unveiling of the Historical Marker of the Sheikh Makhdum Mosque in Simunul, Tawi-Tawi today, 07 November 2023, where Secretary Pangandaman was also invited to grace the occasion, together with NHCP Chairman Emmanuel Calairo.
“It is especially meaningful for me to be present here today as a Muslim Filipina to personally honor Sheikh Makhdum, whom we remember and thank for being the missionary who brought Islam to the Philippines, which led to the building of this first-ever mosque in the country here in Tubig Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. This Mosque symbolizes the introduction of Islam to the country, and its pillars—which have remained intact for centuries—are a testament to our people’s rich history,” the Budget Secretary said in her speech.
She likewise emphasized that the commemoration, further made remarkable by PBBM’s support to Muslim Filipinos, is in line with the administration’s goal to foster unity in the country amid diversity.
“This project intends to highlight the Philippines as a multicultural country that acknowledges pluralism, and where religious tolerance and inclusivity thrive — all of these leading to the idea of unity amid diversity, which will help fulfill President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s campaign for national unity,” Secretary Pangandaman said.
“650PH in 2030″ shows that there is true beauty of unity in diversity. It’s a reflection of how faith can bring people together, add value to human life, and peace-building, which is a basic principle of Islam,” she added.
Meantime, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim message on the 643rd Commemoration of of Sheik Karimula Makhdum said his arrival on the island of Simunul , Tawi-Tawi, introduced the Islamic faith to the Island, at large, the archipelago of modern-day Philippines, Sheik Makdhum led the establishment of the first mosque in the Philippines, which is a testament to the presence of thriving Muslim communities before the advent of Spanish colonialism.
His arrival not only brought Islam but also the message of inclusivity and respect for diversity, which remains relevant today. His lessons of peace, knowledge ,oneness , humanity , and compassion have echoed throughout time, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the Bangsamoro people, Ebrahim emphasized in his message.