By Abdullah Matucan | Bangsamoro Information Office

Maguindanao Sur public officials, youth join talks on proposed Electoral Code

MAGUINDANAO DEL SUR—Provincial officials down to the barangay council along with accredited youth organizations in Maguindanao del Sur joined today, Jan. 30, a public consultation on proposed Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC) in Buluan, Maguindanao del Sur. 

Said event is part of the last league of the public consultant on proposed Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Bill number 29, which is now pending in the parliament. The same event has been done as well in the Provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, including Cotabato City.

Deputy Speaker and Member of Committee on Rules Atty. Omar Yasser Sema of the BTA Parliament said that his team is ready to listen to the views and opinions of the attendees. 

“Andito po tayo ngayon para makinig sa inyo upang mai-consider sa ating committee report ukol sa ating proposed elctoral code,” Sema said

The proposed bill is one of the priority codes stipulated in the Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which the BTA needs to enact into law within its transition period. This measure will define the structural, functional, and procedural principles on matters pertaining to election in the region. 

Accordingly, the proposed measure, like any other legislations in the country, polarizes the public, particularly on its adherence to the 1987 Philippine Constitution. However, Lawyer Sema stressed that such scenario in legislation   is not unusual.

“Napakaganda po ng ating 1987 Constitution. Naiintindihan po natin iyong concern sa mga constitutional concerns sa ating electoral code, at tayo po sa BTA ay sinisugurado natin na nababalanse natin ito,” Member of Parliament (MP) Sema said. 

In November last year, BTA secretariat had sent out invitations and copies of the draft electoral code to all local officials through the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG). To ensure that officials have first-hand information on the proposed bill prior to the publoc consultation, they personally visited  them in their respective offices. 

Meanwhile, Provincial Administrator of Maguindanao del Sur Atty. Cyrus Torreña, who attended the event thanked the BTA for innitiating the consultation, stating, “the electoral code is a very important code that we need to give preference.”

During the consultation, BTA members who spearheaded the event encouraged everyone to submit their position papers on or before February 1 but as requested by parties in attendance, the committee agreed to receive position papers until Feb. 13 through the following email addresses: parliamentary.rules@bta.gov.ph or parliamentary.read@bta.gov.ph. 

Other legislators present in the event included MPs Abdullah Hashim, Michael Midtimbang, Tawakal Midtimbang, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Bassir Utto, and Datu Ali Sangki. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the last round of the consultation for the BEC will be held in Marawi for the Lanao del Sur province. (BIO)


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