Photo. Courtesy by Nasiah Watamama /Staff Majority leader -BARMM

BTA Majority Floor Leader, IP Affairs Minister grace peace & dev’t forum in Sarangani

MALAPATAN, Sarangani Province ( April 3, 2021) -- The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Majority Floor Leader Atty. Lanang Ali, Jr. and Minister Melanio Ulama of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MIPA) graced the Peace and Development Forum in Sarangani held at Kapya na Pangintalanan Resort, in this town, on Wednesday (March 31).
The activity was organized by the Maguindanaon Development Foundation through its Peace Connect Project in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Sarangani, Philippine National Police, Indigenous Peoples of Sarangani, Political Committee of Sugoda Buayan and local agencies of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The activity was aimed at informing the Bangsamoro communities on the latest development in the Bangsamoro region and how the autonomous government can extend help to Muslims from outside the core territory.
Atty. Ali related how the Bangsamoro people struggled against the historical injustices and negotiated with the Philippine government to achieve their right to self-governance which ended in a peace deal, the signing of Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

“Now we are on the implementation stage and that is why there is that transition period,” he explained.
The BTA Majority Floor Leader said that they in Bangsamoro parliament are working hand-in-hand in order to fix everything as a transitory or caretaker government for the smooth operation of the Bangsamoro government.
Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law established the BTA equipped with both legislative and executive powers. Currently, the transition body has 80 members. 

It is mandated enact priority legislations namely the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Government Code, and Bangsamoro Education Code during the transition period.

Atty. Ali said three years transition period is not enough. “If you read the book, talking about conflict resolution same is true with the problem of the Bangsamoro, sa lahat ng bahagi ng mundo. Example, Ache in Indonesia, Nepal, Northern Island, etc., their transition period ended up to six years or even more to eight years,” he related.

He said they implemented the budget for the Bangsamoro region as designed by the previous administration, the ARMM. He further explained that the BTA could not realign the budget due to legal constraints.
“I always tell the people during my forum that January 2020 is said to be the true BARMM,” the majority floor leader said.

He added that on March 15, 2020, the country faced the Covid-19 pandemic where lockdowns were imposed.
According to Atty. Ali, the start of October 2021 is the campaign period till March to May next year for the 2022 election. “We are running out time already, pa’no pa ba natin maimplement ang transition period ng BARMM?” he asked.

He underscored the need to extend the transition period for BTA to implement what were provided in the peace agreement.

In response, the Muslim leaders present in the event expressed their support to the call for the Bangsamoro transition stage extension.

Minister Melanio Ulama related the relation between the IPs and Moro people since the existence of their ancestry, Mamalu and Tabunaway. He also discussed the rights of the IPs living in the Bangsamoro region and outside the core area.

The participants learned that accessing support from the BARMM entails proper communications and project proposals sent directly to the chief minister or concerned ministries.