Bill seeking to establish regional archives office enters first reading
July 25, 2023

COTABATO CITY – A measure seeking to establish the Office of the Bangsamoro Regional Archives (OBRA) to preserve the rich history of the region has been filed in the Bangsamoro Parliament.

The bill seeks to create the OBRA, an institution dedicated to the management and archival preservation of records within the region.

The primary author of the bill, MP Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, emphasized the significance of maintaining archival records as a vital task of the Bangsamoro Government, noting that preserving the collective identity and history of the Bangsamoro people is a goal that must be pursued diligently.

He explained that historically, cultural memory and heritage were primarily passed down through word of mouth and storytelling by elders.

However, with the advent of social media and the internet, the traditional methods of preservation have become limited. Establishing OBRA is seen as a significant step to ensure the preservation of the region’s legacy for future generations.

The establishment of the OBRA under Parliament Bill No. 214 complements the existing institutions of the Bangsamoro Museum, Bangsamoro Library and Archives, and the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and will strengthen the system of management and archival records of the Bangsamoro Government.

MP Loong highlighted the impact of such efforts, emphasizing that preserving history not only educates and familiarizes others with the diversity of the Bangsamoro people but also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by their forebears, the dedication of their leaders, and their resilience and commitment to governing their territory.

The proposed OBRA will plan, develop, prescribe, disseminate, and enforce policies, rules, and regulations, coordinate programs governing the creation, general protection, use, storage, and disposition of public records, including the acquisition, storage, and preservation of public archives, and provide facilities for reference and research.

The Bangsamoro Regional Archives Act of 2023 aspires to establish a systematic approach to managing and administering the Bangsamoro Government’s archival records.

This will also increase public confidence in the integrity of public records keeping and management, while also promoting accessibility to Bangsamoro cultural heritage.

MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Amilbahar Mawallil, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Rasol Ismael, Benjamin Loong, Jaafar Apollo Mikhail Matalam, Abdulkarim Misuari, Atty. Jose Lorena, Abdulaziz Amenoden, Diamila Ramos, Adzfar Usman, Mohammad Kelie Antao, Eddie Alih, Tawakal Midtimbang, Mudjib Abu, Suwaib Oranon, Bassir Utto, Bai Maleiha Candao, Michael Midtimbang, Basit Abbas, Muslimin Jakilan, Albakil Jikiri, and Susana Anayatin are co-authors of the bill. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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