Govt to give BARMM PhP 70.6 Billion next year

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao— The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be given some P70.6 Billion next year to help boost peace and development in the region, said a report by Philstar.

The proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 submitted to Congress this week, includes various funding mandated under Republic Act 11054.

Of the amount, P63.6 billion represents the annual block grant; and P5 billion as Special Development Fund. Included in the total allocation is P17.7 billion for infrastructure development, said the online report by Philstar.

Aside from this, the BARMM, however, will also have its own internally generated funds in the form of retained taxes estimated at P1.4 Billon annually; allocations from national government agencies, P15 billion; and Internal Revenue Allotment, P25 billion.

National Economic and Development Authority director general Ernesto Pernia earlier said the BARMM must immediately address poor economic performance and poverty.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) formalizing their partnership in implementing the decommissioning process for 40,000 armed fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

AFP chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. underscored the importance of collaboration with the OPAPP in pushing forward the Bangsamoro peace process.

“The MOA that we signed today is not only about the transfer of funds from OPAPP to the Armed Forces but more importantly, it signifies our commitment to continue with the process of healing, and the process of normalization in the Bangsamoro,” Madrigal said.

Under the MOA, the AFP will provide basic military training to 3,000 MILF-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) fighters in order to prepare them as members of the composite Joint Peace and Security Teams (JPST). 

The AFP will also be present in securing the actual decommissioning of MILF combatants and their weapons, as well as to develop a program for small arms and light weapons management.