Friday Dec, 08 2023 01:53:49 AM

Bangsamoro Parliament OKs local governance code

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • Fri Sep 29, (All day) 2023
BTA Media Office
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim (right) and BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong show copies of the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code after signing it last night, Sept. 28, 2023. With them are MPs. (BTA photo)

COTABATO CITY ― The Bangsamoro Parliament has passed the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code on its third and final reading, bringing the constituent local government units in the Bangsamoro region closer to achieving genuine and meaningful local autonomy and self-governance.

The BLGC was approved with a resounding 57 affirmative votes, four negative votes, and zero abstentions, providing a comprehensive framework for governing the region.

Following its approval in the plenary on the third and final reading, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim and Bangsamoro Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong have signed the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 49, or the BLGC.

Chief Minister Ebrahim said that the code "will not only redefine but also solidify the autonomous region's governance landscape by forging a well-defined and harmonious path between the regional government and the LGUs."

During the period of amendments in the plenary, the Bangsamoro Parliament retained “governance” instead of “government” in the code to highlight citizen participation.

The BLGC is composed of four books: general provisions, local taxation, and fiscal matters, Bangsamoro constituent units, and miscellaneous and final provisions.

Committee on Local Government Chair Atty. Raissa Jajurie stressed the significance of passing the BLGC, highlighting that the BARMM has a unique governmental setup compared to other regions in the country.

She emphasized five key points of the bill: empowerment of local government units and local communities; facilitation of gradual devolution of power; equitable revenue sharing; promotion of democratization; and supervision between the Bangsamoro government and LGUs.

Empowerment of LGUs

"At the heart of the code is the grant of powers to LGUs," said Atty. Jajurie.

The BLGC enumerates powers to be devolved to the different levels of local governments, clearly defining the delineation of responsibilities between and among them. It also ensures that the constituents know what services and facilities are on the list and/or can be demanded from their local government.

The code grants authority to LGUs, placing them on par with other local governments in the country in terms of providing relevant services to their constituents.

Regional ministries and offices will reorganize and restructure themselves to supplement local government services.

She said that Bill No. 30 does not include the mandates and functions of regional ministries, which are specified in the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 13 or the Bangsamoro Administrative Code.

Gradual devolution

The BLGC ensures a gradual devolution of authority to ensure a deliberate transfer of power as well as technical and financial capability at the local government level.

The Bangsamoro government can provide additional support in case of capacity limitations to make sure that all the services of the government are made available.

Equitable revenue sharing

The code defines sharing schemes between the Bangsamoro government and LGUs, covering collections of national taxes and revenues from natural resource utilization in the region.

"These resources will strengthen the financial capacity of local governments," said Jajurie.

The resources, combined with collections from taxes, fees, and charges that are within the powers of the LGUs, will increase the financial capacity of local governments to execute their mandates and provide the services and facilities expected of them.

With the BLGC's passage, 40% of the Bangsamoro government's share in national taxes, fees, and charges collected within the region's jurisdiction will be allocated to LGUs.

Democratization and empowerment of local communities

LGUs have the power of initiative, referendum, and recall under the BLGC. Vulnerable sectors are given sectoral seats in the Sanggunian, while indigenous groups are provided representation in LGUs.

"A provision similar to that found in the Bangsamoro Electoral Code will also democratize the choices of candidates who do not come from the same families, although we have provided for a transition period to make sure that our leaders and voters are ready for this," she explained.

Supervision, cooperation, and coordination between the Bangsamoro Government and the LGUs

The code provides guidance on the relationship between LGUs and the Bangsamoro government, covering various aspects such as revenue sharing, appointing powers, disciplinary authority, and representation in regional structures.

The code also outlines the disqualifications of individuals running from elective local position.

Family members of incumbent local officials running for elective positions in the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, whether full or half-blood, are prohibited from running for the same provincial, city, municipal, or barangay positions.

Candidates and their spouses are also not permitted to run for local elective office in the same province, city, municipality, or barangay if none of them is related to an incumbent but is related to each other within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, or if all incumbents are related within the same degree.

Prior to its approval, the BLGC underwent rigorous deliberation and scrutiny, including eight public consultations from the regional to national levels and 23 days of deliberations at the committee level.

Speaker Atty. Balindong said that "the Code is more than just a set of rules; it is a manifestation of our commitment to the Bangsamoro people and their march towards a brighter future."

Intensive information dissemination campaigns will be conducted to ensure that constituent local government units and the Bangsamoro people fully understand the code following its approval.

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the interim government of BARMM, has successfully enacted five of its priority codes, including administrative, education, civil service, electoral, and local governance codes. The revenue and indigenous peoples' codes are the two remaining codes to be passed into law.(LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)



MP Dumama-Alba is new MILG-BARMM minister replacing lawyer Sinarimbo

COTABATO CITY – A member of parliament of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) today assumed as the new minister of the Ministry of the Interior...

Tedurays oppose mining activities in Upi, South Upi

SOUTH UPI, Maguindanao del Sur – Around 500 Lambangian, Teduray Indigenous peoples, and migrant settlers expressed their opposition to the first...

BARMM turned over MILG building in Pigcawayan and Midsayap SGA clusters

The new Ministry of the Interior and Local Government Field Office opened on December 4, 2023, at Brgy Datu Binasing, Pigcawayan Cluster of the BARMM...

PNP tags 2 Dawlah Islamiyah members as suspects in MSU bombing

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday identified the two persons of interest (POI) allegedly linked to the Dec. 3 bombing...

SK gov offers P1-M for arrest of MSU bombers

KORONADAL CITY  – A P1 million reward will be given for any information on the identification, whereabouts, and eventual arrest of persons...