Changing people’s perception in BARMM

Atty. Bayan G. Balt

According to some political scientists, the purpose of transition government is to determine a new political and economic structure, ideally the transitional leadership will play a role in restoring a sense of justice, if injustice resulted during the previous government. Most importantly to restore confidence and changes people’s perception from bad to a better society.

Building infrastructures in BARMM is a legacy that will change people’s perception, who has not seen peace but war, famine and poverty for decades. Our history tells us, during his reign, Ramesses II (who fought prophet Moses, may peace upon him) embarked on an extensive building program throughout Egypt and Nubia, he, therefore, built in 1264 BC the rock-cut temples near the modern village of Abu Simbel, likewise Croesus, the overlord of the ancient city of Ephesus, (Turkey) built the Temple of Artemis. In modern times, we have seen leaders, the like of Pres. Marcos who built the San Juanico bridge, Cory Aquino started building our Light Railway Transit (LRT) and overpasses while Pres. Duterte under his build, build, build program constructed several airports, expressways and bypass roads.

Unfortunately, the present BARMM administrative building was built by the late Muslim leader Simeon A. Datumanong, Chairperson Executive Council of Autonomous Region XII (1980-1984 to house the Office of the Regional Commission (ORG), thereafter, successions of regional executives for over thirty-seven (37) years, the said office has not been rebuilt, although it has undergone rehabilitation or repairs. Likewise, the most beautiful City Hall in the country (the new Cotabato City hall) was built during the administration of Datu Muslimin G. Sema who was elected as city mayor of Cotabato in 1998 and was re-elected in 2001, 2004 and during May 2007 Elections. In Lanao del Sur, the new Provincial Capitol and the Gymnasium was constructed thru the effort of former Governor Saidamen B. Pangarungan sometimes in 1989. These massive infrastructures projects built by our leaders stand tall as monuments, that will serve a remembrance for the next generation to come.

Infrastructures creates jobs and improved economic opportunities in the region. Corollary, the present BARMM transitional government should have built their own Parliamentary building and Chief Minister’s residence that will also house the various executive offices, apart from reducing the unemployment rate, will served as a legacy of the present BARMM leadership cherish forever by our people. A modest beautiful Parliamentary building can cost less than P5B while the Chief Minister’s residence will cost another P5B, this construction costs can be deducted from the P75 B block grant of the regional government. The BARMM parliament can likewise raise funds from local revenues or may ask donations from Malaysia or other supportive Muslim countries to funds these two important projects.

Despite the reported determination of the BARMM leadership to pursue massive infrastructures in the region for the next three (2022-2025), it cannot be easily realized simply, the present BARMM parliament failed to pass a law designating the capital/or principal office of the Autonomous Region which is the set of the regional government as provided in the RA 11054, thus,

 Section 1. Seat of Government. – The Parliament shall fix by law the permanent seat of the Bangsamoro Government anywhere within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region taking into consideration accessibility and efficiency in which its mandate may be carried out under this Organic Law. (ARTICLE VII BANGSAMORO GOVERNMENT)

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Atty. Bayan G. Balt is the former Chapter President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP Marawi City and Lanao del Sur, 2013-2015) Chairman of the Ranao Federal State Movement (RFSM) and President of the Alliance of Regional Coalitions Against People’s Poverty (ARCAPP). 

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