Representatives from the Bangsamoro Special Geographic Area attend a consultation for the formulation of the BARMM’s development plan in October 2022. Photo credits to BPDA

BTA Parliament to create 8 municipalities out of 63 North Cotabato villages that joined BARMM in January 2019 plebiscite

Cotabato City-? The 63 villages from six towns in North Cotabato that opted to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) four years ago will form at least eight municipalities, a Mindanews report said Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
Lawyer Mary Ann Arnado, Bangsamoro Parliament Deputy Speaker, said Tuesday that members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) Local Government Committee are keen on passing the bills for the creation of the eight municipalities out of the Bangsamoro SGA.

The eight municipalities are proposed to be created in the towns of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pikit and Pigcawayan, all located in North Cotabato, a province near Maguindanao del Norte.

In December 2022, the Government of the Day filed eight bills seeking to establish the municipalities of Pahamudin, Kadayangan, Kabalukan, Northern Kabacan, Kapalawan, Malmar, Tugunan and Ligawasan.

Arnado said the lack of municipalities for residents in the SGA has hindered their access to essential programs and services rendered by the Bangsamoro government and the municipal governments.

“If the bills are passed into law, the residents would have a functional, accountable and competent local government unit to cater to their day-to-day needs,” she said in a report from the Bangsamoro Parliament’s Public Information, Publication and Media Relations Division.

MP Aida Silongan, also Minister of Science and Technology expressed hope the bills for the creation of the eight municipalities will be approved by the plenary before the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections on October 30.

In this way, the plebiscite establishing the eight towns can be held simultaneously with the Barangay ang Sangguniang Kabataan polls, she added.

Public consultations for the proposed bills have been conducted in some parts of North Cotabato, MP Silongan said.