Bangsamoro Parliament OKs P75.6 billion BARMM budget for 2021

COTABATO CITY/Dec. 25 – The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament approved on Wednesday, Dec. 23, the proposed budget of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for fiscal year 2021 amounting to P75.6 billion.

BTA Majority Floor Leader Raissa Jajurie said the proposed budget was unanimously approved by all of the 55 Members of the Parliament present.

The Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) got P23.5 billion, the biggest share of the allotment among different ministries and offices.

The Office of the Chief Minister (OCM) got P10.2B; Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Management (MFBM) P389.6M; Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), P3.3B; Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT), P323.5M; Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), P274.1M; Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), P623.2M; Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MIPA), P105.2M; Ministry of Health (MOH), P5.1B; Ministry of Public Works (MPW), P15.7B; Ministry of Interior Local Government (MILG), P1.05B; Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE), P553.7M; Ministry of Human Settlements and Development (MHSD),  P811.01M; Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), P197.2M; Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reforms (MAFAR), P1.5B; Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS), P108.8M; Office of the Wali, P33.02M; Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA), P85.08M; Bangsamoro Attorney General Office (BAGO), P41.08M; Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC), P97.4M; Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC), P71.6M, and Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC), P76.7M.

Signed by Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim Wednesday night, the legislation shall be known as the "General Appropriations Act of the Bangsamoro for Fiscal Year 2021" or the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 15.

Ebrahim said, “the Bangsamoro Organic Law remains to be at the heart of this fiscal design. We propose mechanisms that can effectively address the diverse needs of the Bangsamoro, regardless of their geographic area and/or ethno-linguistic identity. This design, just like last year, continues to echo the call to inclusivity – where initiatives and programs are tailored fit with the respective realities on the ground.”

Jajurie said the P75.6B budget is appropriated out of the annual block grant from the National Government, share in the National Government taxes, fees and charges collected in the Bangsamoro territorial jurisdiction, and projected collections on regional taxes, fees and charges for the operation of the Bangsamoro Government from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) provides that the “National Government shall provide an annual block grant as a share of the Bangsamoro government in the national internal revenue tax collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and collections of the Bureau of Customs.”

When Chief Minister Ebrahim filed the proposed budget on Nov. 26, he said “what makes this financial program distinct from last year are the inclusion of efforts towards the public health crisis and other significant initiatives that were not part of last year’s fiscal design.”