A PORTION of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) 2019 budget may be realigned for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite in Jan. in case funding for the referendum does not come on time, “We support the BOL all the way and budget should not be a problem; we are recommending to allow part of the ARMM proposed budget to be used for the plebiscite,” ARMM Gov. Mujiv S. Hataman said in a statement on Sunday. Mr. Hataman made the pronouncement amid reports that there is no allocation in the P3.757-trillion 2019 national budget for the BOL referendum, which requires P857 million. Lawmakers have also said that the P10-billion budget submitted by the Commission on Elections for 2019 does not include expenditures for the plebiscite. Mr. Hataman said Congress may realign over P800 million for the plebiscite from the P10.1 billion infrastructure fund for the ARMM next year. The region’s P32-billion budget for 2019 was approved at the House of Representatives plenary on Sept. 20. Republic Act No. 11054, or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), was signed on July 26. The Jan. plebiscite seeks to formally create the BARMM, comprising of all areas under ARMM, and affirm or reject the inclusion of the cities of Cotabato and Isabela as well as six towns in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato. “It is vital that the plebiscite take place as scheduled,” Mr. Hataman said, “We are looking at all the options open to us, including realignment of regional government funds, because it is that important to the future of our region.”