Duterte to Lead Ceremonial Signing of BOL


Manila,, Philippines — President Duterte will lead Monday the ceremonial signing in Malacañang of the law creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Philstar reported.

The presentation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) comes about two weeks after the signing was derailed during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23 due to a change in the leadership of the House of Representatives.

Key officials from the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other leaders from Mindanao will attend the event to be held tomorrow afternoon at the Palace.

The BOL is one of the centerpiece programs of the Duterte administration in a bid to strengthen efforts to reach out to the people of Mindanao and establish lasting peace in the region.

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In his speech last Friday in Bukidnon, Duterte said peace is a work in progress following the approval of the BOL in the House and Senate.

He thanked Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri for helping push for the approval of the measure in the Senate.

“We had the Bangsamoro law under the sponsorship of Senator Zubiri, the worthy son of the worthy father,” the President said, referring to Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri.

“Thank you for the help,” Duterte said.

Duterte also cited MILF chairman Ebrahim Murad and other peace advocates in the region who cooperated for the approval of the historic measure that replaced an existing conflict-wracked autonomous region with a powerful Bangsamoro region.

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The deal is another attempt by the government to end the nearly half a century of conflict in Mindanao.

Deputy presidential adviser on the peace process Nabil Tan said the BOL is better than the ARMM Organic Law or RA 9054.


Greater fiscaal autonomy

Tan told reporters in Davao City during the media forum on the Bangsamoro peace process that the BOL will grant the BARMM government more funds that would enable the region to chart the course of its economic development.

Tan noted that for years, the old ARMM government practically “begged Congress” to release funds for its operations.

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The fresh resources will give the BOL greater fiscal autonomy, which the ARMM government does not enjoy under the current setup.

He said under the new law, an annual block grant is automatically appropriated in the General Appropriation Act to the Bangsamoro government specifically for the rehabilitation and development of conflict-affected areas. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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