BONGAO, TAWI-TAWI—Officials from this province asked during the public consultation on the proposed Bangsamoro Local Governance Code held today, December 6, that redistricting provisions be made more considerable in Tawi-Tawi.
In order to provide more fair representation for constituents in parliament, BTA Bill No. 30 authorizes the legislature to undertake by law the new redistricting.
Section 10 of Article 7 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law provides that “parliamentary districts shall be apportioned based on population and geographical area, provided that each district shall comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territorial jurisdiction.”
Board member Dayang Carlsum Jumaide, who represents the women’s sector in Tawi-Tawi, emphasized the importance of taking into account the island’s population and its remote location.
Although the redistricting for parliamentary representation under the Bangsamoro Organic Law states that districts must be contiguous, compact, and adjacent, “island municipalities like those in Tawi-Tawi are separated by vast water, which criteria may not apply as we perceive and believe,” Jumaide said.
Member of the Parliament John Anthony Lim, who is also from Tawi-Tawi, echoed these sentiments.
“Financial viability should be one of the criteria in apportioning the parliamentary districts to give a chance to smaller local government units to have representatives in the Parliament,” Lim said.
Together with Amilbahar Mawallil and Prof. Eddie Alih, all three MPs from Tawi-Tawi vowed to forward the interest of the province in the Parliament.
MP Mohammad Kelie Antao, Presiding Chair and Committee on Local Government Vice-Chair, assured that all points raised will be deliberated upon in the plenary.
The proposed code, which provides a clear direction between the local government units and the Bangsamoro government, is one of the priority measures that the Parliament must enact during the transition period. (LTAIS- Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)