COTABATO CITY – Following the public consultation on Wednesday, a resounding majority of Cotabato City residents declared their full support for the proposed Bangsamoro Electoral Code.
Cotabato City Vice Mayor Johari Abu said that BTA Bill No. 29 exemplifies moral governance, democracy, equal political involvement, and representation.
He also lauded the Bangsamoro Parliament for its efforts in enacting various laws and advancing the aspirations of the Bangsamoro people.
Floor Leader and Committee on Rules Chair Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba said that the Bangsamoro Parliament is in full force at every public consultation to listen to and address the concerns of the stakeholders on the proposed code.
“The passage of the proposed code is a collective deliverable of the entire Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” said Atty. Dumama-Alba.
The measure guarantees the conduct of fair, credible, and free elections in the BARMM by outlining its structural, functional, and procedural principles.
She also explained that the BTA conducted separate public consultations in Cotabato City, as the said city was just included in the core territory of the Bangsamoro region.
Participating in the consultation were officials and representatives from the city’s villages, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and other relevant stakeholders in Cotabato City who voiced their opinions on how to improve the proposed code.
The Moro Women’s Development and Cultural Center, Inc., which also supported the draft code, asked the Bangsamoro Parliament to include the CSOs in their consultations, saying that doing so would help ensure fair and credible elections.
They also asked the MPs to involve youth, farmers, person with disabilities, women, and indigenous people.
Nasserudin Dunding, Bangsamoro youth commissioner for Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and SGA, expressed gratitude for the inclusion of slots for recognized youth organizations and youth champions so that they can participate in the significant discussions that will also shape and define the political future of the younger generation.
He continued, that younger generation will actively participate in determining the direction of the Bangsamoro and strongly support the proposed code.
Under the proposed code, the 80 seats in Parliament will be divided as follows: 50% for party representatives, 40% for district representatives, and 10% for reserved seats for sectoral representatives.
On the first day of session, the newly elected Parliament will elect among themselves, and by a simple majority, the Chief Minister, who will then nominate two deputy Chief Ministers, who will be elected by the members of the Parliament.
To date, the Bangsamoro Parliament has enacted administrative, civil service, and education codes.
Another consultation will be held tomorrow, January 19, for government and non-government stakeholders in the BARMM Special Geographic Area. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)