Category: Feature

BTA adopts calendar for 3rd regular session, pushes for strategic planning

The calendar for the third regular session for 2021-2022 was approved by the Members of the Parliament on Wednesday.



With the resumption of the third regular session on June 16, 2021, the  parliament approved proposed resolution no. 447  adopting calendar of session with 60 plenary sessions. Before its adoption, members of the parliament expressed their concerns on the timetable of passing of the priority codes during the specified schedule in the proposed calendar. MP Lorena asked Majority Floor Leader Lanang Ali if consultations to accomplish the priority codes have been considered in the two-week sessions, emphasizing that the BTA should double time for the passage of the codes. To that, MP Ali answered that the priority codes will be passed within this year and that the Chief Minister may call a special session for that purpose on the first and second week of the month. The majority leader also added that his Office and SUBATRA are planning to hold a “strategic and operational planning” on parliamentary procedures focusing on the timetable for deliberating and passing legislations.

Minority Floor Leader Baintan Ampatuan raised that enumeration [of dates] should be linked with a plan to accommodate a lot of pending legislations. She also made a point of inquiry on whether a notice or advisory is still mandatory from the Secretary General considering the calendar has already been set. MP Ali answered that the calendar is a reminder for all MPs about the schedule of sessions and that the Secretary General may send notice beforehand. MP Nabil Tan qualified to move for the approval of the matter in discussion but also asserted that rules can be amended anytime, and he may add dates [in the calendar] during the strategic planning session.

On the query of holidays by MP Saliga, majority leader said that no session will be held when it falls during holidays. In answer to MP Rasol Mitmug’s question about the proposed planning session of the BTA, MP Ali explained that the strategic planning was supposed to be scheduled in May but was postponed to June due to covid-19 surge in the city and neighboring areas but it did not materialize. As of now, the tentative schedule is on the first and second week of July. It was also said that the amendment of house rules is imperative prior to the amendment of the calendar. Speaker Adiong and MP Tago both agreed that legislative agenda should be tackled first in the Committee of Rules. Consequently, the legislative calendar could be enhanced during the planning session.

Calendar can be accessed here:


MENRE vows to protect Begonia bangsamoro plant

MARAWI CITY – The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) vows to preserve and protect the newly discovered plant species Begonia bangsamoro in Lanao del Sur province.

On Monday, June 14, Provincial ENRE Officer Asmarie M. Labao together with representatives from the Office of Bangsamoro Parliament Deputy Minority Floor Leader Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Jr. held an ocular visit and analysis on the Begonia bangsamoro in the rainforests of Barangay Banga in the Municipality of Wao.

The plant, named after the Bangsamoro people, was discovered in the area by a group of six researchers namely: Dave P. Buenavista, Yu Pin Ang, Mc Andrew K. Pranada, Daryl S. Salas, Eefke Mollee, and Morag Mcdonald. [Related Story: Newly discovered plant in LDS named after the Bangsamoro people]

“The discovery of this new plant species in our Inged a Ranaw signifies the richness of our place in terms of biodiversity,” said Labao.

“We will be proposing collaborative efforts with the local government units of Wao, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions for possible partnership in the preservation and protection of the Begonia Bangsamoro and its habitat,” he added.

Wao Municipal ENRE Officer Antonieto Montanez explained that the plant can be sighted along Ginapukan River in fragments.

“Dalawang site po ito, ang area na ito spans to 100 square meters, meron pa po sa taas na medyo malawak, mga 200 square meters,” said Montanez.

Community ENRE Officer 2A Asnawi Dataman, Biodiversity Management Services Chief Ameer Hussien Abbas, Jamalodin P. Dilawangun representing MP Mitmug, and Marawi City Community Affairs Officer Abulkhair M. Alibasa were also present during the site visit. (Bangsamoro Information Office)

*Originally published by the Bangsamoro Information Office (

PAMANA reveals 2021 photo contest winners


MP Ras Mitmug Choice Awardee

The Office of MP Rasol Mitmug, Jr. recently announced the winners of 2021 PAMANA photography contest.

The photo contest highlighted the Bangsamoro heritage to raise public awareness on the region’s rich and fascinating history of cultural heritage and to promote discussion on how policymakers and the community can work together for its conservation and protection.

Grand prize winner

Amierah Asim was declared the overall winner for a photo of Bud Bongao’s over-viewing peak. The mountain is a treasure throve of biodiversity and one of the last remaining moist forests in the Sulu archipelago. “I’m hearing a lot of stories about Tawi-Tawi before. So when I got the opportunity to go there, I have nothing to feel but excitement. But due to health protocols and also because we are fasting that time, most of beaches were closed and health measure so tight. I only visited Bud bonao, but it never disappoint [sic] my expectation. It actually set standard for more places to-go in Tawi-Tawi. What is more appreciative and inspiring is the responsible tourism of this spot, I couldn’t imagine developing a tourism site without compromising natural habitat while preserving its history,” Asim said, when asked about what fascinated her most during her travel in the province

Second place winner

Meanwhile, Mark Maulurana, of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, earned second place for his entry “Sunduk,” the grave markers of Sama of Tababawan which commemorate and mark the resting places of the dead. The markers consist of two components, the kubul, a low openwork fence that surrounds the grave, and the “Sunduk”, an upright element at the center of the enclosure. The form of sunduk reflects the gender of the deceased.

Third place winner

And Nakim Nakano from Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi, received third place for his photo of an elderly woman weaving a mat or tepoh amidst pandemic as means of livelihood.

People’s Choice Award

For the People’s Choice Award determined by public voting, Almirah Amin’s photo of a Meranaw woman performing kulintang emerged as the winner with 4,300 facebook likes.

MP Mitmug Choice Award, a special and surprise award, was given to Ingrid Albarracin for her entry “The Venice of the South” (see first photo) which captures the stilt houses and floating market of Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi.

The photo contest which ran for three weeks received an overwhelming response with over 250 entries from all over the country. The winners were determined by the judging criteria indicated in the contest mechanics. Judging panel is spearheaded by the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage as the partner institution.

Check out all shortlisted photos here:


The Office of MP Rasol Mitmug Jr., in partnership with the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, in celebration of the National Heritage Month, presents PAMANA Photography Contest 2021: Upholding Bangsamoro Heritage and Identity. This competition provides platform to our visual storytellers in line with our objective to preserve the Bangsamoro heritage and raise awareness and appreciation among the younger generation on how enriched the culture is, and get a glimpse of what needs to be addressed in relation to our cultural heritage for potential social impact.

The Bangsamoro has a rich and fascinating history of cultural heritage with its distinctive traditions, artworks, craftmanship, entrepreneurial spirit and cultural diversity—making part of their identity and authenticity. Preserving this culture amidst modernization is, indeed, a major challenge. Preserving this culture amidst modernization is, indeed, a major challenge. So we invite you to show us places and scenes that showcases Bangsamoro heritage. These may be photos of current-day historic sites, people engaging with historic themes, or simply landscapes that are connected to local history. Your photos may also feature nature, architecture, daily life, activities, traditions, challenges, Pilgrimage, Resilience, Landscape, Food, Migration or Art & Festivals. Capture a landmark from an uncommon angle, a familiar landscape at a unique moment, or people and objects that are often out of frame. You can be creative as you like.

Please read the guidelines and mechanics below, and register to join.

Upholding Bangsamoro Heritage and Identity

Submission Period:  April 30 – May 21, 2021

The photo contest aims to raise public awareness on the Bangsamoro’s rich cultural heritage and to promote discussion on how legislators/policymakers and the community can work together for its conservation and protection. This is also to gain insight on any sites which may need further recognition from appropriate government offices or agencies, or immediate attention from its respective LGU for intervention, etc.  

Three (3) Contest Categories 

  1. Tangible Local Cultural Heritage
  2. Intangible Local Cultural Heritage
  3. Natural Heritage


The prizes for the Best Photos are as follows:

Grand Prize: P10,000

2nd Place: P8,000

3rd Place: P3,000

People’s Choice Award: P5,000



Photo Submission Period: From April 30, 2021 to May 21, 2021

Uploading of Shortlisted Photos for Public Voting (People’s Choice):  From May 25 to May 29, 2021

Notification of Winners: June 1, 2021

Awarding Ceremony/Event: June 4, 2021



Contest Rules, Terms and Conditions

Contest Period:  The contest website will be open to accept entries from Friday, 30 April, 2021.  The deadline for submissions will be Friday, 21 May 2021 at 11:59 pm.

Background:  The Bangsamoro has a rich and fascinating history of cultural heritage with its distinctive traditions, artworks, craftsmanship, entrepreneurial spirit and cultural diversity—making part of their identity and authenticity. Preserving this culture amidst modernization is, indeed, a major challenge.

Contest Categories.  The photo contest will have four thematic categories.

  1. Tangible Local Cultural Heritage—The photograph should show either movable cultural heritage (paintings, sculptures, clothing/ textiles, accessories, literature, crafts, etc.) or immovable cultural heritage (monuments, archaeological sites, architecture such as buildings, houses, and structures, underwater ruins, etc.) within the five (5) provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, including Cotabato City and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato. It may also highlight how said heritage is being maintained or preserved through either government initiative or individual and/or community efforts.
  2. Intangible Local Cultural Heritage— The photograph should be a portrait of a Bangsamoro (a person or people) hailing from the five (5) provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region: Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, including Cotabato City and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato who has extensive knowledge of intangible local cultural heritage (such as oral stories, , oral poetry, values, laws, norms, rituals, traditions, dances, songs, myths, beliefs, superstitions, and other various forms of traditional knowledge). 
  3. Natural Heritage—The photograph should depict natural sites with cultural aspects such as cultural landscapes, physical, biological or geological formations within the Bangsamoro region (such as private and publicly protected natural areas, zoos, aquaria and botanical gardens, natural habitat, marine ecosystems, sanctuaries, reservoirs, etc.).

How to Join:

  1. Visit:
  2. Read the Mechanics
  3. Agree to the Terms and Conditions
  4. Fill-up Submission Form
  5. Like and follow our FB page to get updates:


Your Photograph.  The photos should have been taken personally by the contestant in the Bangsamoro.   Each contestant can submit as many entries as they like, but each entry must be in a separate submission.  Below are other specifications for the photograph:

  • All digital files submitted must be no larger than 10MB.
  • All photos must be in JPEG or PNG format.
  • The photograph should not have been previously published electronically (online) or in print.
  • Photographs that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will not be accepted. Only minimal adjustments are allowed (contrast, sharpness, burning/dodging, cropping and color correction).
  • No watermarks, copyright units or logos are allowed.
  • If the photograph focuses on an individual, a family or an organization, the contestant should obtain the consent in writing to the public release of the photograph from the individual, family or organization.
  • No entries using advertising or offensive images, or those that violate laws will be allowed.
  •   The judges or contest administrators will disqualify or exclude any photos that they deem inappropriate.
  • Images not complying with these parameters will be disqualified. The judges reserve the right to ask for unedited/raw images.
  • The judges may choose not to award a prize in a category if the entries do not meet the standards of the competition.

Copyright.  By submitting a photograph to the competition, the contestant (a) grants the organizers of the competition rights to edit, use and publish the photograph, and (b) certifies that using the photograph will not infringe on any privacy, copyright or other intellectual property rights of third parties.

Submission of Entries:  Each submission must comply with the following requirements.

  1. Photograph should include:
    1. your personal details:
      1. name, 
      2. email address, and/or
      3. mobile number; 
    2. the Contest Category the photograph is being entered in; 
    3. the location where the photo was taken (barangay; city or municipality) and month and year when the photograph was taken
    4. a caption/short description that conveys a compelling message (maximum of 100 words) of the photograph in English or the local dialect, including details of when, where, what; and
  2. Entry is free and open to photographers, both amateur and professional, who are residents of the Philippines.  No group entries are permitted.  Non-Filipinos are welcome to join the contest, but they must be legal residents of the Philippines and captured photos in the Philippines.  The photographer should have a valid national ID or international passport for verification purposes during claiming of prizes.
  3. By submitting an entry, the contestant agrees to all of the competition rules and conditions (See Terms and Conditions)
  4. Any officer, executive, or employee of the above-listed partner organizations, and their immediate family members, as well as any person involved in the selection process for this photo competition, are not eligible to join the contest 

Selection Process: 

In selecting the winners of the photo contest, there will be several stages:

Stage Process 
1st PRELIMINARY SCREENING In each of the three contest categories, the 20 best entries will be identified by a Screening Committee constituted by the Contest Organizing Staff. Screening will be based on the compliance of the author and the photo in the Terms and Conditions.   The top 20 entries in each category will go on to the next stage of the competition.
2nd SELECTION OF CATEGORY WINNERS A Category Judging Panel (3 members) will be convened for each contest category from among the partner organizations; each Category Judging Panel will decide on the top three entries in the category and their respective ranking, from among the 20 entries submitted for review.  The first-ranked entry in each category will be considered as the category winner and will proceed to the final round of selection.  


  • Adherence to the category theme (20%);
  • The ability of the photograph to convey a compelling message to stakeholders and/or policy makers (45%); and
  • The composition, clarity and quality of the photograph (35%). 
3rd SELECTION OF OVERALL WINNERS The three category winners will then be evaluated and rated by the Overall Judging Panel (3 members) based on a new set of criteria (see below). The scores given by the 3 judges will determine the final ranking of the photos and the winners of the three cash prizes.


  • Content and relevance to the theme (35%);
  • Artistic value and communication potential, social impact of the image (35%);
  • Technical excellence and quality (30%).
4 SELECTION OF PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER Shortlisted photos will also have a chance to win the “People’s Choice Award” based on the most number of public votes (‘likes’). Photographs competing for this award will be posted on the official page, tagging the user who submitted. 

The winners of the competition will be notified by email no later than 1 June 2021.  An event will be scheduled shortly thereafter to announce the winner of the competition.

Refer to the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and FAQs:

Submission Form:



Video series on “The Ramadhan Takeaways”

Screenshot from the original video uploaded on facebook.

The month of Ramadhan is not only a time for fasting, repentance and spiritual renewal. It is also an opportunity to seek further knowledge about the Holy Month, Islam and its teachings. The Office of MP Mitmug Jr will feature short stories through video messages about different people and their experiences and reflection during Ramadhan including interesting topics that Muslims or non-Muslims could add to their understanding of the Ramadhan or Islam.

For our first video, we featured Datu Farouk Camino Ampatuan, a student of Cotabato City National High School – Main Campus who shared his reflection on Ramadhan and how he manages his time as a student while fasting.

Read the full transcript of his message:

Assalamu Alaikom Warrahmatullahi watallah Wabarakatuho

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Ramadhan is a month in Islamic Calendar when Muslim observes fasting from sunrise to sunset. And it can be a difficult month for many to get thru this, especially us students who have to go through online learning without eating and drinking.

Ramadhan is considered to be one of the holy months in Islamic Calendar. Kindness, forgiveness and charity are often pursued as a good practice of our faith. And it also time to show compassionate and empathy to those in need. For me, many Muslims uses [sic] Ramadhan as a time to reset and start anew. Creating new goals and improving old ones and improve one-self, and rejuvenate their spirit. Fasting provides us spiritual perspective that allow us to understand the less fortunate in poverty and those in need. Let also remind us to not be wasteful of Allah (s.w.t) blessings.

As a student during this holy month, we had a lot of problem to take with. One of the hardest scene that we go through is a lack of concentration and a lack of space. Due to the online learning we have a lot of video conferences and screen type. With this, we feel exhaustion and headaches. But one thing that I can advise to my fellow learners here is to start and plan your time table. Schedule organizing your school works, your revisions, meals, prayers, because this would help your mental health and your well-being.

May Allah bless us, our family courage and strength. Shukran jazilan. Ramadhan Mubarak.

Wa Assalamu Alaikom Warramatullahi Watallah Wabarakatuho.

Watch the full video here:

*Datu Farouk Camino Ampatuan is a grade 10 student from Science Technology and Engineering Program of Cotabato City National High School Main Campus Organizations. He is currently the P.I.O of the Supreme Student Government of CCNHS MAIN CAMPUS, President of Youth for Environment of School Organization of CCNHS MAIN CAMPUS and President of Science Technology and Engineering Program.