President Aquino has declared the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque in Tawi-Tawi as a national historical landmark, being the oldest Muslim house of prayer in the country.
The President, in signing Republic Act No. 10573 last May 24, cited that it is the constitutional mandate of the government to conserve, promote and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage like the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque which is located at Tubig Indangan Simunul in Tawi-Tawi.
The Mosque was constructed in 1380 A.D. and considered as one of the oldest Muslim House of Prayer or Mosques in the Philippines.
The new law aims to underscore the contribution of the Islamic faith to the enrichment, vibrance and diversity of the Philippines’ culture and civilization.
It also directs the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to oversee and supervise the preservation of the Mosque; organize and undertake a national fund campaign for the purpose of raising funds from private sources to be used for the preservation and rehabilitation of the shrine; include in the Commission’s program the operationalization of the Mosque and eventually its needed funding in the annual General Appropriations Act; and draw up the implementing rules and regulations of the new Act. (JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR/30 May 2013)