Marcos to BTA: Prioritize meaningful measures

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. (second from left) talks to BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim, and Speaker Martin Romualdez in Cotabato City during the inauguration of the newly-appointed members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament who will serve until 2025. Also in photo is MNLF chairman Nur Misuari, left.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday called on the Bangsamoro Transition Authority to prioritize legislative measures, which aim to bring progress to the Bangsamoro region.

He made the call during his first visit to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao since he was elected president.

Marcos graced the ceremonial opening of the session of BTA Parliament in Cotabato City.

“I also encourage the BTA to pass measures that will secure the welfare of the Moro people, particularly in agri-fishery, healthcare, transportation, communication, digital infrastructure, and e-governance,” Marcos said in his speech.

The Chief Executive stressed the need to pass all the crucial legislations on fiscal policy, particularly on taxation.

For his part, BTA Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim assured Marcos of the passage of the priority codes either by end of 2022 or by the first quarter of 2023.

Ebrahim was reappointed as presiding officer of the BTA Parliament.

“Rest assured, Mr. President, that we will complete all the remaining transition priorities and finish setting up the government, not only ready for a peaceful and orderly election in 2025 but also a government capable of continuing the transformation of a BARMM into a progressive and responsive region,” he said.

Formal session

The BTA, he added, is set to file over 20 bills upon the start of the formal session of the parliament.

These bills include the Gender and Development Code, the Internally Displaced Peoples Law, Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, Irrigation System bill, and Energy Development Corporation of the Bangsamoro Chapter.

For Marcos, the passage of important legislations, as well as the approval of the Bangsamoro Transition plan, are “cornerstones of BARMM moral self-governance.”

He said the accomplishments in the Bangsamoro region are merely “a glimpse of what will happen in the future.”

“Nonetheless, no matter how impressive the gains that the Bangsamoro have already seen, I always think this is just the beginning. As we go on and formalize the structure and institutionalize the functions of the Bangsamoro government, we will see that those efficiencies will come in,” Marcos said.

“(With) the establishment of your offices and their functions, I look forward to the fulfillment of your vision to realize a united and enlightened self-governing, peaceful, just, morally upright and progressive Bangsamoro,” he added.

He also guaranteed that Bangsamoro peace process will remain a top priority of his administration.

He said the government will continue the implementation of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan program.

It is a project aimed to pursue community-driven development projects in remote, conflict-stricken areas in the country.

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