BTA Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong
COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong lauded on Friday, February 05, 2021 the development on BTA term extension, where five (5) bills have been filed at the House of Representatives, seeking to amend section 13 article XVI of the Republic Act 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), and to fix the first regular election of the region.
The bills include House Bill 8116, House Bill 8117, House Bill 8161, House Bill 8222, and House Bill 8277 filed by Representatives Loren Legarda, Esmael “Toto” G. Mangudadatu, Ferdinandh Martin G. Romualdez, Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo, and Isidro Ungab, respectively.
Balindong said bills pending in the House of Representatives which seek to extend the term of the BTA from 2022 to 2025 are a welcome development for the Bangsamoro people.
“Such extension will provide a fresh mandate to BTA members to roll out its plans and programs for the welfare and well-being of our constituents,” Balindong said.
Balindong cited the challenging economic and public health situations which prompted our government to change its priorities such that the implementation of its major plans and programs has either taken a back seat or remained in suspended animation.
“This is the situation prevailing in the Bangsamoro region, as the autonomous and transitional government itself is doing its best to prevent the escalation of the health crisis. Thus, the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) has suffered an inordinate delay, which now imperatively demands a longer period for completion,” Balindong said.
The speaker emphasized that in the Bangsamoro Parliament alone, its mandate to enact major legislations has been seriously hampered.
“Although the major bills were already drafted even before the pandemic, their approval cannot be expedited without the requisite public consultations. The restriction on the people’s movements and poor internet connection among stakeholders have prevented the conduct of hearings and meetings for the deliberations of the pending bills,” he said.
Balindong stressed we should not also lose sight of the fact that the BTA has only become fully operational in August 2019 when funds were allotted to enable the parliament members to acquire their own staff. In addition, the presidential election season will be coming a few months from now and this will possibly cause further delay.
“Working a gargantuan task on a shortened period is nearly impossible. Even transitional governments in other countries have been given ample time to fulfil their mandate. The push for a term extension is necessary to reaffirm the government’s commitment to give the BTA a full authority to implement its own plans and programs, and enable the peace dividends to reach all our stakeholders in the region. The clamour of our people to immediately achieve economic progress and stable peace and order now lies in the hands of the Congress of the Philippines,” Balindong said. (GALao, Publication and Media Relations Division)
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