BARMM fortifies executive-parliament linkage, bares 10 top legislative agenda  

By Ali G. Macabalang

An online-generated photo showing some of the four-day Seminar-workshop participant-BTA parliament members in selfie.

COTABATO CITY – The interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is fortifying executive-parliamentary collaborations to harmonize and hasten processes for the adoption of legislative agenda meant for institutionalized development thrusts in the infant geo-political region.  

The offices of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim and Parliament Speaker Pangalian A. Balindong have conceived and initiated some enabling steps, one of which was a four-day (July 5-8) seminar-workshop where participant-legislators and executives brainstormed on priority thrusts the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).

The four-day event was sponsored by the Support to Bangsamoro Transition (SUBATRA), a project of the European Union (EU) that aims to rally a smooth and timely implementation of the transition, through capacity building of the three branches of the Bangsamoro government, organizers said.

“This important activity (was) anchored on one of (project) key desired results, which is to improve the physical and organizational framework of the Bangsamoro Parliament,” according to SUBATRA facilitator Reginald Pastrana.

BTA Deputy Speaker Omar Yasser Sema, also a SUBATRA focal person, said the objective of course is to promote close coordination between the legislature and the government of the day, particularly in the actions of the latter.

After brainstorming at the seminar-workshop, participant-Parliament Member Maisara Dandamun Latiph revealed a list ten (10) priority legislative agenda for enactment before the lapse of the BTA lifespan in June 2022.   

Pipelined for immediate enactment are: A local government code, an electoral code, a revenue code, an agri-fishery code, a labor code, a bill strengthening and replacing the regional madrasah graduate education act of 2003, an indigenous peoples code, a Bangsamoro research and development agenda, and a bill seeking to create the “Ranaw Development Authority (RDA).”

MP Latiph introduced BTA Bill No. 32 for the creation of the RDA in 2019 and delivered a privilege speech this month to appeal for the inclusion of the measure in the current administration’s priority legislative agenda.

In her privilege speech, Latiph mentioned about the revival in the 18th Congress of a measure for the creation of a development authority for the preservation and management of the lake.

She said the BARMM parliament should create first the RDA possibly to serve as a reference to a national version, hinting at a possible difficulty in reconciling the regional perspectives with national views if the Congress version comes first.

Because of the contrasting stands in the regional and national prescriptions, Latiph said she immediately conducted a series of consultations with experts from the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City and the decades-old Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). The MSU has for decades studied the characteristics of Lake Lanao, which is reportedly facing critical condition. (AGM)

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