BTC members orient Sarangani, Gensan, SK constituents on Bangsamoro Organic Law

In order to educate the public on the prospects of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), three members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) oriented the constituents of the provinces of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat and General Santos City on the proposed measure which is hoped to bring lasting peace in Southern Philippines.

The three BTC members were Mohagher Iqbal, concurrently the Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel, Melanio Ulama representing the Indigenous Peoples and Sheikh Ebrahim Ali representing the Ulama.

The series of orientations were held in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat, municipalities of Maasim and Malapatan in Sarangani and at Mindanao State University (MSU) High School Gymnasium in General Santos City on November 3 to 7, 2018.

The activity in Sarangani was hosted by the different chapters of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) Southern Mindanao, the provincial and municipal local government units in Sarangani and with the support of the local agencies of the MILF. In General Santos City, the orientation was supported by the MSU–Gensan.

Ulama tackled the how the IPs will benefit and their rights will be protected under the Bangsamoro Government. He cited the establishment of the Tribal University that will benefit mostly their youth and the strengthening of the Tribal Justice System under the Bangsamoro Government.

Ali discussed the implementation of Shari’ah justice and education system once the Bangsamoro government will be set up. He underscored the importance of integrating Islamic studies in the existing curriculum of education in the country.

In the Section 18 of the BOL, it is stated that “The Bangsamoro Government shall ensure the integration in the elementary and high school education curricula the teaching of Islamic and Arabic studies for Muslim pupils and students in public schools.”

Chairman Iqbal briefly tackled the progress of the Bangsamoro peace process and elaborated the salient points of the BOL. 

He said the BL is 85% compliant with the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), a peace deal signed by the government and the MILF in 2014.

The BOL which was passed by the Philippine Congress last July is the product of more than 17 years of arduous peace talks between the Philippine Government and the MILF.

The measure, known as Republic Act 11054, seeks the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that will replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

It was originally known Bangsamoro Basic Law, which was drafted by the BTC as provided in the CAB.