PHL gov’t allots P74.4 billion for Bangsamoro for 2023, pushes legislation for BARMM elections in 2025




President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., speaking during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) on September 15, 2022. (Screenshot of RTVM video/Courtesy RTVM)

 

(Eagle News) – The Philippine government is allotting P74.4 billion to the Bangsamoro region for next year and is pushing crucial legislation that would facilitate the elections in the region in 2025, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said.

In his speech during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), Marcos also urged the passing of crucial legislation on taxation and fiscal policy in the region.

The President assured Bangsamoro leaders of his government’s commitment to pursue peace process in the region.

-Need to formalize Bangsamoro gov’t structure, functions-

He said the inauguration of the BTA and the other gains achieved in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are already impressive, but not enough as there is still work to be done to “formalize the structure” of the Bangsamoro government. He said that the functions of the Bangsamoro government still need to be institutionalized.

During the ceremony, Prsident Marcos Jr., addressed the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim; Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament Speaker, Speaker Balindong; Wali Sheikh Khalifa Nando; Supreme Court Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, and the Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, Nur Misuari.

The inauguration of the BTA on September 15, 2022, also served as “the opening of the session of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament.”

“My congratulations to all that have been involved. To the newly appointed members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, we would not have witnessed this glorious unfolding of history without you,” he said.

“We set our feet before this place and herald the trials that you have won through courage, certainty, and noble bravery,” he said.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., speaking during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) on September 15, 2022. (Screenshot of RTVM video/Courtesy RTVM)

The President said that the “diverse representation” of the BTA “spoke volumes of your answer towards that call for unity, of shared responsibility, and the invitation to advocate peace and development in the Bangsamoro region.”

-Gains so far made in Bangsamoro region-

He enumerated the gains so far made starting with the approval of the Bangsamoro Transition Plan, the passage of important legislations such as the Administrative Code, the Civil Service Code, and the Education Code.

Marcos described these as “cornerstones of BARMM moral self-governance.”

“The establishment of your offices, their functions, I look forward to the fulfillment of your vision to realize a united, enlightened, self-governing, peaceful, just, morally upright, and progressive Bangsamoro,” he said addressing the Bangsamoro leaders.

“As your President, I assure you, the BTA and all the Bangsamoro people, of this administration’s full and unwavering commitment to the peace process and to BARMM,” he stressed.

-Bangsamoro budget-

As proof of this is the budget for BARMM of P74.4 billion for 2023.

Marcos said that his government, through the Department of Budget and Management, “has allocated 74.4 billion pesos for the Bangsamoro region fiscal year 2023.”

He also cited previous government allocations to the Bangsamoro region such as the P19 billion from 2017 to 2022 through the PAMANA program that provided “socioeconomic interventions that build the culture of peace in highly conflict-affected and vulnerable areas.”

“And we will ensure the completion despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

-Crucial legislations needed for BARMM-

“Given these new opportunities to deliver our commitments to the people of BARMM, I urge you to pass all the crucial legislations on fiscal policy, particularly taxation, and to facilitate the conduct of the elections in the BARMM in 2025,” he stressed.

The BARMM elections were originally scheduled in 2022 parallel with the 2022 national general elections, but had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the absence of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code.

He urged the BTA “to pass measures that will secure the welfare of the Moro people particularly in agri-fishery, healthcare, transportation, communication, digital infrastructure, and e-governance.”

He then thanked various partners of the government that encouraged the peace process in the Bangsamoro region.

“The path to lasting peace is always under construction. But we walk this path together and we walk it, not because it is an easy one,” Marcos said.

“We walk this path together because even if it is difficult, we know that at the end of the journey is historical justice, progress, peace, stability, and the unity that our peoples and our nation have long aspired for and so rightly deserve,” he added.

 

(Eagle News Service)



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