THE GOVERNMENT plans to identify more nationally funded programs for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for inclusion in the 2023 national budget, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

Officials representing the national and Bangsamoro governments in the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) said after a virtual meeting on Sept. 22 that they would engage with their respective Cabinet departments and ministries to identify such programs, the department said in a statement Tuesday.

Some programs for health facilities, school building, cash grants, and social pension in Bangsamoro are funded by the National Government.

“The (National Government) and BARMM have previously agreed that this list is not an exclusive one and that (National Government) agencies may still fund other national programs and projects in the Bangsamoro region as decided upon by the two sides,” the DoF said.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the BARMM ministries and national agencies should discuss the nationally funded programs for the 2023 budget because the government makes its budget call in February each year.

“The IGRB continues to meet regularly to resolve matters and issues brought before the body as it remains determined in accomplishing its targets through unrelenting dedication, strong partnership and mutual trust between the National Government (NG) and the Bangsamoro Government,” he said.

The group also discussed speeding up addressing overlapping jurisdictions of national agencies and Bangsamoro ministries. It plans to report updates on identifying the nationally funded programs in the next meeting, scheduled for December.

House legislators last month approved the postponement of the first regular elections in the BARMM to 2025 from 2022. — Jenina P. Ibañez