Bangsamoro lawmakers seek to institutionalize an ‘alternative system’ for addressing disputes
May 25, 2023

COTABATO CITY ― A measure has been introduced to institutionalize a comprehensive framework for resolving disputes in the Bangsamoro region.

Recognizing the pressing need for an effective and inclusive approach to dispute resolution, Bangsamoro lawmakers have crafted BTA Bill No. 59 that will create an alternative system and mechanism for addressing conflict.

Violent disputes have been a ‘perennial problem’ particularly in the BARMM Special Geographic Area, and the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao, as well as some parts of the island provinces of the region, according to MP Mohammad Kelie Antao, one of the principal authors of BTA Bill No. 159, or the “People’s Alternative System of Addressing Disputes Act.”

As a result of the situation, he said, people are forced to leave their homes and businesses, lives are lost, and economic activities are disrupted.

He said that if this problem isn’t addressed, it will “greatly affect the collective desire of the Bangsamoro and Philippine governments for the constituents of the region to feel and enjoy the fruits of normalization, including but not limited to political stability, social order, and economic growth.”

The PB No. 159 seeks to establish a People’s Alternative System in Addressing Disputes (PASAD) to serve as a program and a movement for addressing disputes between parties through neutral third parties, or PASAD providers.
PASAD providers, as defined in the bill, are neutral third parties, either individuals or groups, that help parties keep their disputes out of litigation using flexible but legally binding dispute resolution processes.

The PASAD provider will facilitate the proceedings and determine how they will be conducted. They will also assist the parties in reaching a satisfactory resolution and suggest options for dispute settlement.

Under the proposed measure, a regional office for PASAD, under the Ministry of Public Order and Safety, will be established.

PB No. 159 was also principally authored by MPs Tawakal Midtimbang, Mudjib Abu, Bassir Utto, Suwaib Oranon, and Eddie Alih and co-authored by MPs Baileng Mantawil, Diamila Ramos, Abdulwahab Pak, Abdulaziz Amenodin, Denmartin Kahalan, Don Mustapha Loong, Ramon Piang Sr., Adzfar Usman, Michael Midtimbang, and Dan Asnawie. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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