COTABATO CITY – To address the inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape prevalent in the regulatory and approval processes for infrastructure projects in the region, several Bangsamoro legislators have filed a measure proposing the creation of an Infrastructure Acceleration Office (IAO).
The BTA Bill No. 183, or the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Infrastructure Acceleration Act of 2023, aims to establish the Infrastructure Acceleration Office (IAO), which will streamline and expedite the approval and implementation of infrastructure programs and projects in the region.
Member of the Parliament Amilbahar Mawallil, one of the main authors of the bill, highlighted the urgent need to overcome the challenges faced in the regulatory and approval processes. These challenges have led to project delays, cost overruns, and suboptimal outcomes, hindering the region’s development.
The bill seeks to establish the Infrastructure Acceleration Office (IAO) as the primary regional agency responsible for coordinating, managing, and monitoring infrastructure programs and projects in the Bangsamoro region.
Mawallil emphasized that the IAO will play a vital role in streamlining and simplifying the regulatory and approval processes, resulting in reduced delays and corruption, enhanced competitiveness, increased investments and employment opportunities, and contributing to the sustainable development of the region.
Under the provisions of the bill, the IAO will establish a One-Stop Shop for Infrastructure Development, which will expedite the processing of permit and clearance requirements. Additionally, an electronic platform or system will be created for the submission, processing, and monitoring of infrastructure project proposals and applications.
The IAO will be tasked with developing and implementing a comprehensive infrastructure development plan for the region. It will also coordinate with national government agencies to align and integrate the region’s infrastructure initiatives with the national network.
It will also promote public-private partnerships and prioritize crucial infrastructure projects such as road construction and rehabilitation, regional airport and seaport expansion, irrigation system construction and rehabilitation, the establishment and expansion of industrial estates and economic zones, and the implementation of disaster risk reduction and management infrastructure projects.
Ensuring transparency and accountability, the IAO will regularly submit progress reports to the Chief Minister and the Bangsamoro Parliament, providing updates on funding, implementation, evaluation, and recommendations to improve infrastructure policy and development in the BARMM.
Other authors of said bill are MPs Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Jr., Atty. Sittie Fahanie Uy-Oyod, Dr. Hashemi Dilangalen, and Hamid Malik.
It is also co-authored by MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, and Rasul Ismael. (LTAIS- Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)