COTABATO CITY ― A new bill has been introduced on first reading, aiming to foster socio-economic and cultural development in the Bangsamoro region by mandating all constituent local government units to allocate funding for road maintenance in their respective areas.
Roads, according to the bill’s principal author, Member of the Parliament Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, play a significant role as part of essential and basic social infrastructure for livelihood and economic activity.
Citing data from the 2nd Bangsamoro Development Plan 2023–2028, Engr. Loong revealed that the BARMM currently accounts for only 3% of the national roads in the country.
BTA Bill No. 206, or the Bangsamoro Local Roads Maintenance Act, calls for the maintenance of local roads in the Bangsamoro region.
According to the bill, road maintenance entails preserving and restoring existing road infrastructure facilities to ensure their optimal functionality and extend their useful life.
The proposed Bangsamoro Local Roads Maintenance Program requires every constituent local government unit to develop a local road maintenance program in coordination with their respective development plans and take responsibility for maintaining their local roads.
Once the bill becomes law, each constituent provincial, city, municipal, and barangay local government unit within the Bangsamoro region will be required to allocate at least one percent of their total budget appropriations for local road maintenance in their areas.
The allocated funds will be used for routine, preventive, and periodic road maintenance activities, such as pavement maintenance, regraveling, shoulder maintenance, vegetation control, bridge and structure maintenance, drainage improvement, traffic service maintenance, concrete reblocking, seal widening, erosion control, and safety device installation and maintenance.
To oversee the implementation and coordination of road maintenance efforts, the bill proposes the establishment of a Local Road Maintenance Council. It will be organized at various levels, including regional road maintenance, provincial road maintenance, city and municipal road maintenance, and barangay local road maintenance.
BTA Bill No. 206 is co-authored by MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Benjamin Loong, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., Amilbahar Mawallil, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Rasol Ismael, Atty. John Anthony Lim, Jaafar Apollo Mikhail Matalam, Michael Midtimbang, Hatimil Hassan, Tawakal Midtimbang, Albakil Jikiri, Abdulazis Amenoden, Dan Asnawie, Mohammad Kelie Antao, Abdulwahab Pak, Atty. Ishak Mastura, Nabila Margarita Pangandaman, and Denmartin Kahalan. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)