(Photo courtesy of MILFchairmanOfficial)
COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament Speaker Atty. Ali Pangalian M. Balindong has called on the Bangsamoro to reflect amidst the ongoing Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) global pandemic crisis.
In his ceremonial speech during opening of the Parliament’s second regular session Tuesday, June 16 held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), Balindong emphasized the Bangsamoro is still more fortunate as it face this pandemic compared to other areas of the country.
“More than that, we recently had the Holy Month of Ramadan. We had the opportunity to reflect on the pandemic and pray with the family for the country’s well-being, for Bangsamoro’s well-being. We all know after all that the Ramadan is all about belief and learning how to be Muttaqun (or pious). It is also about the family and the value of togetherness with iftar and tarawih and of course the long awaited and celebrated Eid,” Balindong said.
The good Speaker said this is what he has found himself in the past weeks as they were all praying and fasting.
“I have been reflecting, as I hope we all have been reflecting,” he added.
Moreover, Balindong also cited what they have accomplished so far with having approved 10 bills, especially showing their priorities like the establishment of the Bangsamoro Socio-Economic Development Planning System.
“There is so much more that we should do but I just couldn’t help but highlight this as a milestone. I see it as fundamental as we embark on the quintessential objective of development for our people. It should be the priority of any government, whether national, regional or local,” he stressed.
Balindong said this cannot be done without strengthening a government of laws and so far, their actions have been as vigorous as their commitment to institute a government of laws and not of men.
“We have established the Office of the Region’s Attorney General, and we have ensured the empowerment and representation of our women and children as we have put in place a commission for each sector. There are so much more in the pipeline as we complete the foundations of our people’s government. We are not stopping there, despite the babbling and squawking of naysayers, we have made government work for the people,” Balindong added.
Furthermore, the speaker shared that in just a little over a year of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, they have already installed the BARMM Full Disclosure Policy Portal, the e-BARMM system, and brought the regional government closer to the people through the Project TABANG.
“Especially now that we are amidst a pandemic, we have been preparing the whole time to face crises and calamities that as early as July last year, we institutionalized the READI-BARMM. Clearly, we have been taking concrete steps to make the government truly work for the people,” he emphasized.
Balindong added that while they are still building institutions, the Bangsamoro government didn’t fail to start taking care of its people.
“We know that their health is paramount so we came up with the AMBAG program. This has been consistent with our compelling campaign to end violence against women and pushed for a more child-friendly government across the region. On top of that we are working hard to get our people not only work but get the careers they deserve with our Job Portal. From environment to the welfare of our people to preparing them for employment, we are more than confident it’s now just a matter of time we will be able to showcase the beauty and bounty of the region, that we conducted the first Bangsamoro Tourism Stakeholders’ Summit. I can very well tell you that promoting our food alone will not only bring people to appreciate the region, but will also come to marvel our people. How much more if we can show them the kind of place we have been living all this time, one that has been sadly adumbrated by so much hate and violence,” Balindong said.
Following these accomplishments, Balindong emphasized there are so much more to be done and “they cannot just rest on what have been accomplished so far”.
“The challenges remain. As we were about to celebrate the Eid’l Fitr, Aslamiya and her sister Asnaida, respectively 10 and 7 years old girls died of mortar that landed and exploded in their home in Maguindanao. Who could be responsible for such senseless, reckless, Godless act?! We are here assiduously working to fight for a better future of our people, while some are just busy thinking how to disrupt our important and difficult work and service to our people. I can only shake my head in disgust. I have seen real revolutions in my lifetime. This does not qualify as part of any revolution, not in any puny way,” he stressed.
Balindong pointed out that to finally put an end to all this senseless violence, the only way we can do so is to really work hard and accomplish what the people has put them to do and accomplish for them.
“We are in fact so blessed as a people, as a region. That has been my realization, not only during this long lockdown due to the pandemic. This has long been the truth. We are blessed as a region not only with natural resources but even with our people’s ingenuity and diligence, which unfortunately has not been seen or cannot be seen enough because of the continuing violence in our midst,” Balindong added.
Balindong stressed the Bangsamoro Region is a fortune in itself and “we just have to make it more a blessing to the people”.
“We have to continuously work and fast track the completion of the governance mechanism. We have to vigorously identify industries and develop more industries, show the world what we have and pride ourselves of what we can do,” he said.
Balindong said that once we have come to that realization, he can see no reason why “we cannot see ourselves as one people”.
“Once we have come to that realization, I don’t see why the national government, our national leaders, our fellow Filipino people in the rest of this country cannot see that we are one people, that we are not only ambitious, we are proud as we are vigorous and persevering, as we are God-fearing people,” Balindong stressed. (GALAo, BTA Parliament)
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