By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The education code of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has gained foothold, with the completion of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal signed the IRR of the Bangsamoro Education Code (BEC) in a symbolic ceremony at his office here on August 2, according to Mobarak Pandi, Information Officer of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).
The BARMM interim parliament or Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) enacted the BEC on May 18, 2021, it was learned.
“The IRR is a product of a series of consultations with the different stakeholders of BARMM’s education community,” Pandi said in a statement.
It fleshes out the provisions of the BEC with concrete mechanisms for its effective implementation “to the end that no Bangsamoro child shall be left behind in pursuit of quality, accessible, inclusive and liberating education, ” he said.
The IRR shall cover all combinations or activities of persons or entities involved in the BARMM education system, including those pertaining to formal, non-formal and informal public and private learning institutions at all levels such as the basic, higher, technical and madrasah (Arabic schools) education, Pandi said.
It will officially take effect 15 days after its publication in a local newspaper, it was learned.
The BEC is one of the three priority legislative measures approved by the BTA. The two others are the administrative and civil service codes.
BARMM’s Charter – R.A. 11054 or Basic Organic Law (BOL) – mandates the passage of seven priority codes during the regional government’s transition period. The transition period originally covered 2019 to 2022, but was extended from 2022 to 2025 under R.A.11593.
During the opening of the fourth BTA regular session last June, BARMM Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim vowed to prioritize the legislation of four remaining priority measures namely the Local Governance Code, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act, Electoral Code and Revenue Code.
Ebrahim said the “Government of the Day” has set a 12-point priority agenda for 2023–2025, the latter year being the expected time for the election of regular members in the 80-seat BARMM Parliament.
He said the 12-point agenda include stronger regional bureaucracy; digital infrastructure and e-governance; revenue generation and economic comparative edge; agri-fishery productivity and food security; investment in transportation, communication, and other strategic infrastructure; social protection and universal healthcare; disaster resilience and climate-change adaptation; quality and holistic education; support to Marawi rehabilitation; peace, justice, security; and, Bangsamoro culture, heritage and diversity.
“This 12-point priority agenda shall shape the budget, legislation, programs, and policies of our region as we move to the next chapter of the transition period,” Ebrahim was quoted as saying.
The BTA in its third regular session has tackled 120 bills and 286 resolutions in the plenary. Of the figures, six bills and 92 resolutions were approved, it was learned. (AGM)