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BBL to boost ARMM’s shift to federalism

The passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will provide the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) a much-needed boost to prepare it once the national government shifts into a federal system, Deputy Presidential Peace Adviser Nabil Tan said on Thursday.

Addressing barangay leaders during their 2nd Regional Convention of the Liga ng mga Barangay-ARMM Chapter, Tan, chair of the government’s Implementing Panel on the BBL and a former vice governor of ARMM, said the BBL would allow funds to pour into the region to address development gaps. 

“There is a special development fund for the Bangsamoro which is Php100 Billion for 10 years. This will rehabilitate the damage caused by the 40 years of armed conflict.,” Tan said.

He said there would be annual block grants worth P72 billion for 10 years. This is different from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) that barangay leaders are receiving.

“If we level up (regarding development), then we can be ready for federalism,” Tan said.

The BBL seeks to address the historical injustices committed against the Moro people through a genuine autonomy that will replace the current ARMM. 

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are currently deliberating on the provisions of the law with the aim to enact the proposed bill by March. Public consultations were also held in several cities and municipalities in Mindanao. 

Tan assured barangay leaders that competent ARMM employees would continue to serve the government under the new Bangsamoro autonomous region. 

“The new political entity cannot forego the people who have the competence and skills to run the government bureaucracy,” he stressed. 

Tan said that BBL would be the solution to the lingering problems the region has endured for years. 

“We also do the other things that will provide the whole Bangsamoro region comparable (benefits) to other regions in the country,” he also said.

The two-day event tackled several issues, such as terrorism, anti-drug abuse, and Federalism. This year’s theme of the convention is  “ARMM in partnering for change: Strengthening barangay leaders and enhancing the role of the barangay on the rise of Federalism.” #