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Friday, September 16, 2022

PBBM reaffirms full, unwavering commitment to Bangsamoro peace process; urges BTA to pass key bills


President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday assured the Bangsamoro people of his administration’s unwavering commitment to the peace process.

This developed as he urged the regional government to pass crucial legislations that will institutionalize local governance and ensure the welfare of the Muslim population in the south.

“As your Preside
nt, 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,” President Marcos said during the inauguration of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex in Cotabato City.

“This is why we are steadfast in our commitment to the peace process here in southern Philippines. So, we push for socioeconomic development, interventions to promote peace and development in areas affected by decades of conflict.”

The BTA is Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) interim government with both executive and legislative powers over the region.

President Marcos said among the national government’s initiatives is the PAMANA program, noting that through the program, the government allocated P19-B for socioeconomic interventions that build a culture of peace in highly conflict-affected and vulnerable areas from 2017 to 2022.

Marcos vowed to ensure the completion of the program despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, he said the government, through the Department of Budget and Management, has allocated P74.4 billion for the Bangsamoro region for the fiscal year 2023.

With these new opportunities to aid BARMM, the President urged the BTA to pass all the important legislations on fiscal policy, particularly taxation, and to facilitate the conduct of the regional elections in 2025.

He also encouraged 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.

“As we celebrate National Peace Consciousness Month this September, we know that with unity and solidarity, the BTA will be successful in facilitating the institution of the Bangsamoro government, one that is centered in promoting good governance and lasting peace for its people,” he said.

Through unity with the national government, Marcos said historical justice, progress, peace, and stability could be attained.

Marcos also noted the BTA’s recent achievements, such as the approval of the Bangsamoro Transition Plan and the passage of the most important legislations, particularly the Administrative Code, the Civil Service Code, and the Education Code, considered cornerstones of BARMM’s moral self-governance.

At the same time, the President expressed his gratitude to the country’s partners from the different countries that backed the Mindanao peace process, made investments, and provided financial support for the development of the region.

Also present were Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., BTA Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, BTA Parliament Speaker Pangalian Balindong, Supreme Court Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari, and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto F. Lagdameo Jr. | PND