Bangsamoro Government, a change for the better – Iqbal

“The Bangsamoro Government is a change for the better”, Moro Islamic Liberation Front Peace Implementing Panel Chairman (MILF-PIP) Mohagher Iqbal told the participants of the Bangsamoro Youth Leaders Assembly at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, ORG Compound, Cotabato City on August 14, 2018. 

The activity was organized by the Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Regional Darul-Iftah – ARMM, ARMM Development Academy, and the Department of Interior and Local Government – ARMM. 

During his presentation on Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), Iqbal emphasized that change is inevitable and could sometimes be hurting. However, there are changes that may be painful but are needed for the better, much like the Bangsamoro Government.

He explained that the BTA will commence upon the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). It will be composed of 80 parliament seats which will be appointed by the President of the Philippines. The parliament will also be joined by the 25 elected officials of the ARMM Regional Government including the Regional Governor, Vice Regional Governor, and the Regional Legislative Assembly until the end of their term on June 30, 2019.

The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) along with the current ARMM government will serve as care takers of the Bangsamoro government immediately after the ratification of the BOL and until the BTA is established to ensure an uninterrupted service delivery. 

According to Iqbal, the MILF already started a long list of possible members of the BTA which will be trimmed down into a shorter list for submission to the President in preparation for the BTA, hopefully after the ratification of the BOL or even before. 

“The BTA will create offices and organize bureaucracy during the transition period,” Iqbal said. “Offices and institutions of the ARMM shall be subjected to a phase-out plan”, Iqbal added. A human resource audit will also be conducted by the BTA to ARMM employees that will be absorbed in the Bangsamoro.

Affected employees which will opt to retire or be separated will receive a special package depending on the number of their years in service. For employees serving more than 1 year to less than 5 years, they will receive 100% of their monthly salary per year of service. Employees with 5 years up to less than 10 years of service will receive 150% of their monthly salary for every year in service and those that served for 10 years or more will be compensated with 200% of their monthly salary for every year in service.