TWG FORMATION. North Cotabato Board Member Kelly Antao speaks during the first-ever meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 10) of the Technical Working Group at the North Cotabato provincial capitol in Kidapawan City for the smooth transfer of jurisdiction of the province’s 63 villages to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of North Cotabato PIO)

TWG to prepare for smooth transfer of 63 North Cotabato Villages to BARMM

Sultan, Kudarat, Maguindanao–North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmylou Mendoza, serving as acting governor, met with BARMM representatives at the provincial Capitol in Amas, Kidapawan City on Tuesday to create the first Provincial Technical Working Group (TWG) tasked with laying down the mechanism of transition for the 63 villages from North Cotabato to BARMM, said a report by Philippine News Agency (PNA) on September 11.

Present during the meeting together with Mendoza were Provincial Interior and Local Government Officer Ali Abdullah, Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, BARMM DILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, and North Cotabato municipal officials of the towns of Aleosan, Pikit, Carmen, Kabacan, Pigcawayan, and Midsayap where the 63 villages are situated, the PNA report said.

Mendoza said town mayors and their respective local government officers will regularly meet to lay down implementing guidelines for the smooth transfer of governance.

It is recalled that during the plebiscite held early this year, the 63 villages, all Muslim-majority areas in six North Cotabato towns voted for inclusion to the BARMM. 

BARMM Parliament is contemplating for  the enactment of a bill that would form another province with four towns comprising the 63 villages.

The creation of BARMM is contained in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the GPH and the MILF Peace Panels in 2014 leading to the passage of R.A. No. 11054 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018.

BARMM is composed of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan.