ISABELA CITY, BASILAN — Sharing all of their recommendations on the proposed Bangsamoro Local Governance Code, Basilan stakeholders hope that the Bangsamoro Parliament will include their legislative input on the proposed code, which they believe will reflect the voice of the Bangsamoro people, especially the people of Basilan.
Deputy Speaker Atty. Laisa Alamia emphasized the importance of consulting all constituencies on their comments, suggestions, and criticisms in order to improve the proposed measure, adding that the BLGC “will be the law that governs local governance in the Bangsamoro region.”
Alamia also said that all inputs gathered during the consultation, including those from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, will be presented and thoroughly debated in the committee.
The BLGC, which aims to provide a clear direction between the local government units and the Bangsamoro government, was first filed in the Parliament in July 2020 and remained pending at the Committee on Local Government.
Before the first parliament adjourned, the committee had started public consultations with local governments, academe, religious sector, indigenous peoples (IPs), non-Moro settlers, and other stakeholders in Lanao del Sur and the cities of Marawi and Cotabato.
The Bangsamoro government also replaced the term ‘government’ to ‘governance,’ which promotes citizen participation.
The proposed code is divided into four books, which include: general provisions, which contain statements of policies, principles, processes, and mechanisms for effective local governance; local taxation and fiscal matters, which cover the taxing powers and other revenue-raising powers of the constituent local government units; Bangsamoro constituents, which detail the structure of the constituent government units, powers, and duties; and miscellaneous and final provisions, which contain penal provisions, review and implementing mechanisms, and transitory provisions.
Alamia explained that the BLGC underwent several consultations at the Government of the Day level before it was filed before the Parliament.
As defined in the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, the GOTD refers to the Cabinet, headed by the Chief Minister and composed of other ministers, the majority of whom must be members of the Parliament, that exercises executive authority in the Bangsamoro government.
Provisions on anti-political dynasties, qualification standards for individuals running for elective positions, and taxes were among the concerns raised during the public consultation in Basilan, as the Bangsamoro Parliament consulted the local and provincial government, academe, and civil society organizations.
Alamia emphasized that a provision against political dynasties would be unprecedented in the country.
BLGC also added qualifications and disqualifications for the elective local officials.
The proposed code stipulates that running elective officials for the province, city, and municipality must have reached at least college level, barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan chair must at least have reached junior high level, and Sangguniang Kabataan members must have reached elementary level.
Meanwhile, Indigenous People Leader in Lamitan Musmiral Sahasal, also raised to include the Indigenous People and farmers in the proposed code.
Another series of public consultations is slated to be held in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Special Geographic Area.
Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim committed to the passage of both Bangsamoro Electoral and Local Governance Codes in the first quarter of 2023.
The committee is still accepting position papers until December 15. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)