Governor ABDUSAKUR A. TAN II
Sulu Governor Abdusakur A. Tan II, knew that when he was voted into office last may 2013 elections, he was entrusted by the people of Sulu with the future of the next generation of Tausugs. A well established Businessman, he already enjoys the perks and intricacies of the family business. Business interest ranges from petroleum, manufacturing, trading, etc..
Although he was the Chief of Staff of his father, He was a very reluctant candidate, it took a lot convincing from family and supporters before he agreed to run for Governor of this country’s southernmost province. To succeed and take the reins of leadership from his father, former Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan Sr., was not included in his immediate plans.
He was again elected as Governor overwhelmingly, for a second term in 2016.
BORN INTO POLITICS
Born to Abdusakur Mahail Tan and Nurunisah Abubakar Tan on March 17, 1977, the 2nd child and eldest son from a brood of five (5), two (2) boys and three (3) girls. He is “Toto” to families and friends, a product of 2 generations of political engagement and leadership. Both his paternal and maternal grandfather were former Mayor of Maimbung and Jolo, respectively. His younger brother, Samier, is currently on his 3rd term as Mayor of Maimbung, the hometown of the Tan Family.
His father is still active, well respected and considered a political icon not only in Sulu, but in the whole of Mindanao. Tan Sr. was elected four (4) times as Governor and once as Vice Governor of Sulu. His mother, Nurunisah Abubakar Tan is the incumbent Vice Governor of Sulu.
Campaign from the Heart
Campaigning for the elections in 2013, he was open and very honest to the people of his background. In his campaign speeches, He made it clear that he has no law or post graduate degree under his belt, but he has sincerity in his heart to serve the people. His emphasis was on having their (people )voice be heard and become partners in governance. He is also undaunted to take intellectual and emotional leaps to new ideas to find new solutions to problems. He was elected Governor with the largest winning margin ever in Sulu election history. In his run for a second term\ in 2016, his victory was more of the same result, affirming confidence in his leadership by the people.
September 9, 2013, Barely four (4) months into office, the MNLF Zamboanga City Siege happened. The situation can escalate and drag the province into turmoil, a possible repeat of the 1974 town of Jolo burning, wherein MNLF Fighters and the AFP clashed for the control of the Capital Town. It was also the time for the Annual pilgrimage (Hajj). the suspension of flights and commercial and cargo shipping (Jolo-Zambo-Jolo) would affect travel of pilgrims, residents of sulu would be stranded in Zamboanga city and vice Versa. The suspension would also hamper delivery of goods and supplies to Sulu.
Gov. Toto responded and immediately a called for series of PPOC meeting to have community and sectoral participation in solving the crisis. He initiated formal and informal dialogues with the MNLF Forces in Sulu to maintain Peace. He requested Higher authorities to allow chartered sea vessels (Jolo-Zambo-Jolo) special trips to send home stranded passengers and Hajj pilgrims to their pilgrimage to Makkah. A total of 5 trips was allowed.
The people of Sulu donated to the Victims of The Zamboanga Siege a total of Php 3 M cash and Php 6.2 M assorted goods, with Gov. Toto spearheading the effort.
To date, the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) established a satellite office in Sulu, the first of its kind in the 5 Provinces of ARMM. Governor Toto lobbied the agency to avail of their expertise in crime investigation to help law enforcers in their fight against criminality in the Province. The NBI Sulu Office is also authorized to issue NBI clearance, no need go to Zamboanga City. Those in need of this document can have it in one day, The office is directly connected to the Main NBI Office in Manila via the internet. The NBI Office is located at the Provincial Capitol grounds.
The kidnapping incidents in Sulu has reach a level of great concern, especially in the 3rd quarter of the year 2013. Gov. Totoh empowered the barangays to be at the frontline of the campaign against these criminal elements. The involvement and cooperation of communities resulted in the rescue of 2 kidnap victims in Omar municipality and the release of Baker Atyani, a Jordanian journalist, abducted last June 2012. He also requested then DILG Sec. Mar Roxas to augment equipments of the Sulu Police Force to better combat terrorist and criminal elements in the province. CCTV cameras are also in the pipeline to improve surveillance and identification of criminals.
An Anti- Kidnapping Unit of the PNP is being established in Sulu .
Programs and Projects
Sustaining Support Structure to Facilitate Coordination in Governance.
Sustaining the Operation of the Sulu Area Coordinating Center (SACC), a body organized to be the nerve center of coordination in the Province of Sulu. The aim is to provide a one stop shop center for coordination connecting all sectors of society in Sulu.
Gov. Totoh is very keen of involving students in governance in Sulu, engaging the youth as partners to play an active role in promoting the welfare of the youth sector. A Federation of Student Government is being organized to represent their sector in the Sulu Area Coordinating Center network conference assembly.
His administration is supporting the cooperative movement thru the Provincial Cooperative Office. Providing livelihood to farmers and supporting development of primary crops like coffee, abaca and coconut. Sustaining the operation of the Sulu Processing Center is an example of the Sulu Provincial Government ‘s support toward self sufficiency of crop industries. The center produces and sells native coffee product. In the last cooperative union summit held February 6, 2014, 82 primary cooperatives are operational, as reported.
Improvement of water systems in the province. To date Maimbung , Talipao, Panamao, Luuk, Omar and other municipalities in the Mainland are in the process of constructing and improving water delivery using Gravity based technology system.
Initiating conflict resolutions (Rido). At present, more than 20 rido related cases have been resolved.
Sponsored development forum aimed to synchronized development efforts of Sulu and USAID. USAID Programs and projects for health and environment (On-going ) status updates were presented. Inquiries and Inputs on possible programs for Sulu were made by local officials and sector leaders to boost efficiency and effectiveness.
Support to Sports Program
Major Sponsor to the Annual Provincial Athletic Meet.
Funded Provincial athletes participation to the Regional Athletic Meet.
Construction of Volleyball court, basketball court and tennis court promote sports at the Barangay level
Support to Disaster Risk Reduction management efforts.
Creation of the office of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office
His administration plans to implement programs on education, Health, infrastructure additional programs on poverty reduction, a comprehensive approach and logistic augmentation to improve the Peace and order situation, strengthen community participation and many others.
A Family Man and sports enthusiasts
A role that Gov. Toto cherishes most is being a father to his 3 children. Abdusakur Kiram Tan III, his namesake and only boy and his two (2) girls, Sattria Kiram Tan and youngest, Shaqueela Kiram Tan . His wife Dayang Dayang Charina Kiram Tan, is a princess from the Kiram Family of the Sultanate of Sulu. He ensures he spends quality time with them, despite his busy schedule.
Gov. Toto Tan got his elementary and high school education at De La Salle Greenhills and earned his Bachelor degree in Commerce major in management at the Far Eastern University in Manila. He is an avid sportsman, a basketball varsity player in his high school days, he always try to keep fit and finds time to play sports and exercise during the weekends.
New breed of Leader
Gov. Toto Tan has this Openness, being direct and truthful, qualities that paves the way in building leadership integrity, as observed by many of his peers.
He has perspective, the ability to help people keep life and their business, critical skills needed in building the future. These qualities were Evident during the Zambo siege crisis and his settlement of the problem of illegal settlers in the provincial Capitol grounds.
The significance of his decisions, cognizance of good ideas and how fast he adapts and respond to changing situations, are challenges to be met for his vision for Sulu to materialize. Cooperation and participation by the citizens of Sulu will ensure better days.