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DPWH turns over Philippines’ largest mosque to BARMM
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) turned over documents transferring the management of the Sultan Hajji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid (mosque) to the leadership of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in a ceremony held in Cotabato City on Wednesday, January 8.
The DPWH was represented by Undersecretary Emil K. Sadain, while the BARMM was represented by no less than Chief Minister Ahod ‘Al Haj Murad’ B. Ebrahim.
The said mosque, which is the largest in the Philippines can accommodate up to 15,000 worshippers. It has gold-plated domes and minarets towering over 40 meters, in an area of 5,000 square meters on a five-hectare land located in Barangay Kalanganan Dos in Cotabato City. Its construction was partly funded by the Brunei Darussalam government, with a budget of US$4 million.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, the minister of local government said, “We will ensure the efficacious operation of the facility and preserve its value as a place of worship and one of the tourist spots in the region.”
Architect Felino Paladfox designed the mosque whose construction was administered by the DPWH and was completed in 2011.
There was a dilemma on the part of the DPWH on whom to turn over the management of the mosque.
Cotabato City refused to accept the responsibility while the ARMM could not assume the responsibility the fact that Cotabato City was not yet part of the autonomous region, then.
Sinarimbo said “the regional government will allocate ample portion of its subsidies and local revenues for the maintenance and operations of the mosque.”
With this development, it is hoped that the mosque will get the necessary attention that it deserves being the largest mosque in the Philippines and the second largest in Southeast Asia after the Istiqlal Mosque of Indonesia.
~Taher G. Solaiman