Bangsamoro Parliament adjourns sine die: passes electoral code, three other bills, 60 resolutions
April 3, 2023

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Parliament adjourned sine die the first regular session with the passage of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, one of the priority codes that should be enacted during the transition period until 2025.

Since the members of parliament were sworn in in September 2022, the interim government of the Bangsamoro region has been productively enacting laws that will serve as the framework for the regular parliament, which will begin in 2025.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim fulfilled his commitment to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the electoral law would be passed by the first quarter of the year.

The passing of the electoral code is seen as a major step towards ensuring a more transparent and democratic election process in the Bangsamoro region.

It will provide the structural, functional, and procedural principles for conducting elections, plebiscites, initiatives, referenda, and recall proceedings in the Bangsamoro region.

Ebrahim said that this would encourage political parties with genuine principles to participate in free and fair elections across the region.

“Let us build on this positive momentum to finish the remaining priority codes and other important legislation as soon as possible,” he said.

The historic legislation, according to Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong, will “rehabilitate the electoral system in our country” and create new political reforms.

He claimed that local elections had been tarnished by corruption, irregularities, and violence perpetrated by a small number of people, and that the majority of the electorate had become their unwilling victims as a result of a flawed electoral system.

According to Balindong, this is an opportunity to correct the system that has contributed to political degeneration and has become a source of cultural shame.

“It is an opportune time for us to set a new stage for our future leaders to lead our people by exemplifying honesty, equality, and empowering the true voice of democracy,” he said.

Aside from the electoral code, the Parliament also approved the regional budget for 2023, allocating the majority of funds to health, education, infrastructure, and social services.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Local Government, to which the local governance code was referred, completed five rounds of public consultations in all BARMM provinces and at the national level.

The BLGC is still at the committee level and is now up for committee deliberation.

According to the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the BTA, in its capacity as the interim government of the region, is responsible for enacting seven priority codes. Administrative, civil service, education, electoral, local governance, revenue, and indigenous people’s rights are all among these priority codes.

Four of the seven have already been enacted, including the administrative, civil service, education, and electoral codes.

As they worked together toward a shared goal of bettering the lives of the Bangsamoro people, the second parliament under the Marcos administration started its regular sessions, ditching the “majority and minority” tags.

Speaker Balindong said that the parliament’s achievements during the session demonstrate its commitment to improving the region’s political, economic, and social landscape.

The first regular session of Parliament ended with the approval of four bills and the adoption of 60 resolutions. The MPs introduced 164 bills and 207 resolutions. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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