A HOUSE representative from the Bangsamoro region has vowed to push for the immediate activation of a coordinating body between the Philippine Congress and Bangsamoro Parliament following Friday’s appointment of the region’s new transition team members.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong said the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum is an important mechanism for ensuring aligned legislative initiatives between the national government and the autonomous region’s own law-making body.
“It is therefore one of my sole priorities to lobby before the current House leadership to finally convene and activate the said legislative forum in order to facilitate the partnership between our national legislature and its counterpart in the Bangsamoro region which is essential in achieving synergy necessary for an inclusive growth and development in our country,” Mr. Adiong said in tweet on Friday.
The forum is required under Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
It is intended as a mechanism for cooperation and coordination for legislative measures involving both regional and national governments.
Among the common issues are the creation of new legislative districts, new laws that may affect the implementation of the Bangsamoro law, and proposed measures that will impact the work and public services of the Bangsamoro government.
In November last year, the Bangsamoro Parliament approved a resolution supporting the forum through the establishment of a secretariat in the capital region and designating 11 members as representatives to the national-regional body.
A new set of Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) members — composed mostly of reappointments and new ones from previously under- or un-represented groups — were sworn into office Friday by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
The 80-member transition team, who will have a three-year term, is led by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). They compose the region’s administration and parliament.
The transition period in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will end in 2025, during which the first regional elections will be held.
Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said the new transition team represents a “United BARMM” with members from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
“With the joining of the MNLF and the MILF, and with the ‘balanced’ and fair/equitable composition of the 39 (Philippine government) nominees… this is now no longer just the BTA of the old BARMM but the BTA of a ‘United BARMM’,” Mr. Galvez said during Friday’s ceremony in Malacañang.
The peace adviser said the BTA composition represents a convergence of all peace initiatives, namely: 1976 Tripoli Agreement, 1996 peace agreements with the MNLF, and the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the MILF.
Among those new members of the BTA, are Abdulkarim Misuari and Nurrheda Misuari, children of MNLF Chair Nur Misuari.
Bangsamoro Parliament Minority Leader Laisa M. Alamia, among those reappointed, welcomed the confirmation of the new BTA members, whom she said underwent a “rigorous vetting process.”
“We welcome the appointment of the new set of Parliament members, and we hope to continue working together given our new roles within different sectors in the region,” she said in a statement. “Our work towards just and lasting peace in the Bangsamoro continues.” — MSJ