Commending the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister Ali B. Solaiman for his dedication to the Bangsamoro through its steadfast information drive program to further awareness about the regional government’s services

The Bangsamoro government is dedicated to providing services to alleviate the lives of the populace during this era of transition. The extension of transition reflects the shared ambition of the Bangsamoro people to establish a functional and responsive regional administration that can handle our long-standing problems and ensure better future ahead of them.
 
Section 8 of Article IX of RA 11054 states that “the Bangsamoro Government shall provide, maintain, and ensure the delivery of basic and responsive health programs, quality education, appropriate services, livelihood opportunities, affordable and progressive housing projects, power and electricity, and water inhabitants of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. It shall maintain appropriate disaster-preparedness units for immediate and effective relief services to victims of natural and man-made calamities. It shall also ensure the rehabilitation of calamity-affected areas and victims of calamities.”
 
In line with this, the Office of the Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Ali B. Solaiman is being commended for his valuable initiative in carrying out a series of information drive about the five (5) Flagship Programs of the Office of the Chief Minister-BARMM (OCM), namely: (a) Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG); (b) Ayudang Medical mula sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBaG); (c) Kapayapaan sa Pamayanan (KAPYAAN); (d) Bangsamoro READi; and (e) BARMM Marawi Rehabilitation Program (MRP), including the BTA functions and priorities, in 17 Municipalities of Lanao del Sur namely Taraka, Tamparan,Masiu, Poona Bayabao, Lumba Bayabao, Maguing, Mulondo, Buadiposo-Buntong, Wao, Amai Manabilang, Bubong, Ditsaan-Ramain, Kapai, Tagoloan II, Saguiran, Piagapo and Marantao. The program was conducted in 17 municipalities in Lanao del Sur, including Taraka, Tamparan, Masiu, Poona Bayabao, Lumba Bayabao, Maguing, Mulondo, Buadiposo-Buntong, Wao, Amai Manabilang, Bubong, Ditsaan-Ramain, Kapai, Tagoloan II, Saguiran, Piagapo, and Marantao. Said program took place over five days on September 21, 22, 26, 27, and 28, 2022.
 
It is good to note that the justifiable extension of the BARMM’s transition period has allowed the BTA flexibility and sufficient time to accomplish its governance objectives. As such, it is opportune that the initiatives of the DCM caters to assist the constituency in understanding BARMM services through their local government units. The Office of the DCM is indeed keeping its commitment to the general population by bringing the government closer to the people. The mayors of those aforementioned municipalities has expressed their profound appreciation to this kind of initiative.
 
When the Bangsamoro Government was inaugurated in 2019, it signaled a new era of governance for the region: that with the oathtaking of new leadership, it represented a hope born out of the recognition of the Bangsamoro struggle, the transition to another kind of government would also be a transition to a Bangsamoro government that better represented its people and their needs. As public officials and members of the interim Bangsamoro Parliament, our brand of leadership will be the legacy we leave to the next Bangsamoro leaders.
 
The details of the series of information drive of DCM can be found and accessed on his official facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AleemAliSolaiman

Mga estudyante at guro sa Timako, masayang-masaya sa outreach program

Masayang ipinagdiwang ng mga guro at mag-aaral ng Timako Elementary School ang kulminasyon ng National Teacher’s Month ngayong araw na may temang “Gurong Pilipino, Dangal ng Sambayanang Pilipino.”
 
Nakilahok ang opisina ni MP Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. sa isinagawang outreach program sa naturang paaralan kung saan nagkaroon ng iba’t-ibang aktibidades tulad ng tsunami awareness, earthquake drill, libreng gupit, feeding program at distribution of hygiene kits.
 
Nagpapasalamat naman si Faudzia D. Karim, Timako Elementary School Principal, sa pagpili sa kanilang paaralan upang mabigyan ng mga programa mula sa iba’t ibang ahensya na lubos na nagpasaya sa mga bata maging sa mga guro.
 
Katuwang ng opisina sa programang ito ang Alpha Company 99 IB, 5 ID Phil Army, H.E.L.P. Mindanao, SPIN Media ph BARMM, CARE Inc. ,6FAB PA, Kutawato Pulisya, CCPO Station 3, Regional Highway Patrol Group, at Maguindanao Maritime Police Station.

𝐓𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬, 𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐰𝐚 𝐬𝐚 𝐥𝐮𝐧𝐠𝐬𝐨𝐝 𝐧𝐠 𝐂𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐚𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐰𝐢

Magkasabay na isinagawa ng opisina ni MP Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. ang town hall meetings na naglalayon na magbigay impormasyon sa mga tao tungkol sa mga mahahalaga at basic na kaalaman kaugnay sa Bangsamoro government.

Ginanap ang naturang town hall meetings sa Barangay Bagua II sa Cotabato City at Marawi City noong Setyembre 27, 2022. Naging tagapakinig sa Bagua II ang mga kababaihan, samantala, librarian, health workers, titsers, forester, kabataan, at ilang miyembro ng CSOs naman ang aktibong nakilahok sa aktibidad sa Marawi.

Kabilang sa tinalakay ng mga speakers ay ang mandato ng BTA at ang sistema nito. Ipinakilala rin ang mga bagong opisyales ng Bangsamoro government pati na rin ang mga bagong hirang na members of the parliament. Binigyang diin din sa diskurso ang ilan sa mga pangunahing polisiya ng gobyerno.

Isang importanteng usapin naman kaugnay sa mga oportunidad at polisiya para sa mga kababaihan ang tinalakay ni Sahara Ali na representante ng Bangsamoro Women Commission.


Sa Marawi naman ay naiparating ng mga participants na nais nilang magkaroon ng public libraries kada munisipyo, taunang BARMM job fair, pondo para sa mga madrasah at marami pang iba. Samantala, ilan sa mga naitanong sapagpupulong sa nasabing lugar ay ang youth unemployment, seguridad para sa mga MSU students, illegal boosters, waste disposal, at plano ng BARMM para sa mga IDPs.


Pahayag ni Chief of Staff Amer Hussien Mitmug, “Itong ganitong klaseng pulong-pulong ay sinasagawa namin upang mabigyan ang mga kababayan natin ng sapat na impormasyon patungkol sa BARMM Government para sila ay magiging aktibong members of the community. Bilang aktibong miyembro ng kommunidad, tayo po ay magsisikap na iparating sa mga tamang ahensiya ang mga legitimate at napapanahong isyus para sa ikauunlad ng ating komunidad.”

Hangad ng opisina ni MP Mitmug na mas marami pang barangay ang mapupuntahan ng grupo para sa isinasagawang puspusan na information drive.

Responding to A Call For Unity: Bloc Politics vs Cooperation in the New BTA

In his interview on the Teleradyo program, Bangsamoro Ngayong by UVPN and the Asia Foundation, MP Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. offered an insight on the hopeful direction and initial dynamics of the newly seated Bangsamoro Transition Authority. He began the interview by providing several facts on the how Parliamentary System works. MP Mitmug described the fascinating diversity of the new set of members of Parliament. This new and diversified BTA has ushered in a different set of relationships, perspectives, and groupings in terms of field of expertise and interests. He noted that interest groups and coalitions whose members share similar issues and concerns are logically and naturally formed in a parliament. Therefore, this presents opportunities to form coalitions and caucuses outside of legislative committees in line with the members’ advocacies and interests. He also expressed his personal belief that these interest groups and coalitions can better serve the parliament by installing floor leaders for said groups.

 

As the guest speaker of the said teleradyo program last Saturday, September 24, MP Mitmug defined the meaning of “Minority and majority blocs of the Bangsamoro Parliament”. However, he clarified that currently, there is no majority or minority bloc since the government is aiming for a one BTA acknowledging that all members are appointed by the President. The selection of the House Speaker traditionally prompts the delineation of the majority and minority bloc inside a parliament. This shift of dynamics has yet to be manifested as the new BTA has only just recently begun taking on its roles and responsibilities. In fact, it has unanimously voted Pangalian Balindong as House Speaker again.

 

MP Mitmug emphasized that the BTA is unique because while it is a parliament in form and function, it is not bound by bloc politics that essentially exists in parliaments. It may be true that opposition parties are essential to parliamentary democracy because they make the government accountable. However, this is not the case for the Transition Authority because as mentioned all the BTA members are appointees. Since it is not yet an official parliament composed of elected and party members, the BTA is not restricted by bloc politics. He clarified that the individual members of the parliament have three main responsibilities- representation, legislation and oversight function. Thus, it is up to the MPs to deliver the necessary check and balance within the parliament and the transition government.  

 

He ended his interview by resonating the call for unity by the national government to the Bangsamoro people. While broad cooperation seems to be overarching motto of the new BTA, Mitmug pointed out in this interview that in reality, the interests and advocacies of the members do vary. He appealed that they to do their part in helping the Bangsamoro Government as a peacebuilding infrastructure to succeed. He stated that conflicting ideas and clashing interests may be part of the policy-making process, but the rule of law must prevail. He connected this by explaining that to achieve peace, fundamental principles of justice and rule of law should be upheld. This newfound synergy of the new BTA is vital to meet the challenge of completing the remaining mandatory legislations under the BOL within the next three years.

 

BARMM welcome its new parliament: Rekindling hope and rebuilding capacities

𝘉𝘈𝘙𝘔𝘔 𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘉𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘐𝘯𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘯 𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘰
 
While global peacebuilding efforts seem to be under assault, the Philippines’ own local peacebuilding infrastructure that is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao(BARMM) serves as a beacon of hope for a sustainable peace and order in Mindanao. The passage and ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law in 2019 is the result of a decades-long peacebuilding drive towards nation and state building by the government as it recognizes the unique histories, origins, laws, cultures and societies of the Bangsamoro people. The same BOL brought forth the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
 
The BTA have been faced with huge challenges since its conception. The timelines set forth by the Bangsamoro Organic Law were admittedly short and even optimistic considering the complexity and magnitude of the BTA’s mandate. Nearly a year into the transition period, the COVID-192 pandemic hit the entire country. By mid-2020, the BTA had to prioritize its pandemic response. Despite these, we cannot also deny the significant milestones that have been achieved by the BTA in its first three years.
 
𝘉𝘛𝘈 𝘪𝘯 𝘉𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘓𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘺
 
Out of the six (6) priority legislations embedded in its mandate, the BTA has already successfully passed and enacted three major legislations of which are- the Administrative Code, the Civil Service Code, and the Education Code. With the passage of these Codes, the BTA has significantly jumpstarted the process of building up its capacities to establish credible, transparent, participatory, and efficient public institutions. These are all keys to attaining peace, stability and sustainable development in fragile post-conflict setting of BARMM.
 
Achieving developmental goals like poverty reduction, improved health and quality education is innately linked to institutional capacity, good governance, and sound fiscal management. Thus, the importance of the abovementioned enacted Codes, as well as the remaining priorities legislation, cannot be understated because of their enormous significance to institutional capacity of the BARMM. A stronger BARMM bureaucracy will largely depend on the foundation laid by the BTA. This will enable the Bangsamoro government to deliver on its social and political promises along with the needed public goods and services such as security, health care, education, and infrastructure.
 
As such, strong bureaucracy entails a solid governance infrastructure, competent human resource, enhanced fiscal capacity and good financial management. These three elements are contained in the very fabric of the BOL and the BTA’s mandate. Thus, the justifiable extension of the BARMM’s transition period has allowed the BTA flexibility and sufficient time to accomplish its governance objectives.
 
One of these governance objectives is the development and management of its human resources. This requires the BTA to attract and to retain much-needed staff with appropriate skills and values. The lack of staff capacity in any organization or agency typically results to weak planning and budgeting structures and ineffectual program implementation. It should be noted that a very crucial component for a strong bureaucracy is the quality, capacity and competence of its human resources. With the term extension, the BTA will have adequate time to more than fulfill its human resource requirement and to provide quality service that embody its guiding principle of moral governance.
 
Other areas of institution building that BTA hopes to address are the fiscal capacity building and its financial management. It has already identified revenue generation and economic comparative advantage under its 12-point priority agenda for 2023-2025. It should be noted that there is a two-way relationship between the revenue and expenditure sides of fiscal capacity: governments need revenue in order to provide services, but they must provide services in order for people to be willing to pay taxes. With the Revenue Code underway, the BTA has already taken steps to materialize the BARMM’s fiscal capacity.
This fiscal capacity enshrines and legitimizes BARMM as an autonomous government because it ensures sustainable funding to support and maintain its operations and delivery of services and goods to its constituents. Enhanced fiscal capacity is equivalent to greater local fiscal autonomy. Improved fiscal autonomy of BARMM will signify more power to create its own sources of revenue in addition to its equitable share in the national taxes. More importantly, the BARMM will have more authority and control on how to allocate its resources in accordance with its own priorities. To attain true local autonomy, the BARMM has to achieve genuine local fiscal autonomy.
 
𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘉𝘛𝘈 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴
 
Local autonomy of BARMM carries the promise of sustainable peace and development for the region. However, said promise can be much better fulfilled through strategic, data-based planning, and proactive legislation. With more than adequate socio-economic and ecological data available from various local and international sources and its unique governance structure, the BTA has been presented with the huge opportunity to connect data-based planning with data-driven public decision-making of the Bangsamoro authorities. The fused executive and legislative powers and functions make BTA inherently empowered to make public policies and programs quicker and more responsive to address socio-structural roots of conflict and the day to day realities of its communities.
 
Despite huge challenges, the extension term given to the BTA and the introduction of new members has provided for the continuity and enhancement of said capacities and opportunities for BARMM. The recent appointment of new personalities from various background and fields means injection of new blood and energy as well as introduction of new perspectives and additional expertise in the BTA Parliament. These new members combined with seasoned legislators of the previous Parliament must be received with optimism and renewed hope for successful enactments of more laws such as the Local Government Code, Revenue Code, Electoral Code and the Indigenous Peoples Code, prescribed by the BOL and more.
The status quo in the BARMM paves the way to strengthen our peacekeeping interventions, putting a great emphasis on what is already effective and efficient. The newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr has acknowledged the vital work the BTA has done during its first three years. He has already pledged his full support to the newly rejuvenated BTA in its accomplishment of its core mandates, functions and goals to realize the national aspiration of lasting peace and development of BARMM.
 
*This article is an original piece written by the Office of MP Mitmug – Communications Division. Photos courtesy by OPAPPRU.