A P1.5-BILLION support program for the Bangsamoro’s transition into a more autonomous region was formally launched Monday, with the aim of strengthening governance capacity among public officials and civil society partners.   

The Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA) Programme, funded by the European Union (EU) and Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development, will run until June 2025.  

“SUBATRA helps boost the capacity of our regional government in crafting transitional policies and strengthening our Parliament’s ability to exercise its legislative oversight, and representation functions during this transition period,” Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim said during the launching ceremony held in Cotabato City.    

Implementing partners for the program include the United Nations Office for Project Services, Bangsamoro Development Agency, and the Consortium of the Bangsamoro Civil Society. 

EU Ambassador Luc Véron, who is visiting Mindanao for the first time this week, said SUBATRA will help BARMM “establish an autonomous regional government that will address the many forms of injustices in the region over the years.”  

He added that the transition period is an opportunity for Bangsamoro stakeholders to ensure an inclusive development, “leaving no one behind.”   

Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law passed in 2018, the BARMM transition period was supposed to conclude in 2022 with the election of parliamentary and regional leaders during the May national and local polls.  

The transition, however, has been extended to 2025 through Republic Act No. 11593, which postpones the BARMM elections to May 2025. It was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Oct. 28.  

Under Section 2 of RA 11593, the current Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will continue as the interim government, “Provided, however, that the President may appoint the eighty (80) new interim members of the BTA who shall serve up to June 30, 2025 or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.” — MSJ