COTABATO CITY — The Senate has ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed bill that seeks to reset the first BARMM regular elections from 2022 to 2025.
Voting 21-2, senators voted to approve the report submitted by the joint congressional panel that resolved the differences between Senate Bill No. 2214 and House Bill No. 10121.
Under the reconciled version, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) will continue as the interim government in the region and the President may appoint the 80 new interim members who shall serve up to June 30, 2025 or until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.
According to Senator Francis Tolentino, chair of the Senate panel in the bicameral conference committee, the reconciled version of the Senate and House versions recognized two important considerations—the constitutionally granted power of the President to appoint; and the right of the people of the Bangsamoro region to have competent and reliable leaders.
SB 2214 and HB 10121 will amend Section 13, Article XVI of Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) of 2018.
He said that the extension of the BTA “is a testament to the government’s continued efforts to maintain peace and push for inclusive growth in BARMM region.”
Since the global pandemic posed significant challenges to the execution of the Bangsamoro government’s priority programs and projects, the BARMM transition period extension, he noted, will provide the BTA time to implement the political and normalization efforts embodied in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB)
“Our brothers and sisters in the BARMM Region should not wait until June 2022 to have the leaders they truly deserve,” he added.
Despite the BTA’s efforts to fulfill some of its mandates under the BOL, Tolentino said that “much work is yet to be done” in order to ensure long and lasting peace and progress in the region. (Publication and Media Relations Division)