BARMM lawmaker refiles bills for geo-tagging projects, equal distribution of appointments
July 26, 2023

COTABATO CITY – Two proposed measures have been refiled by Member of the Parliament Engr. Don Mustapha Loong that seek to alter the region’s governance and will help in promoting transparency, efficiency, and inclusivity.

The first measure, BTA Bill No. 219, or the Regional Infrastructure Geo-Tagging Act of 2023, aims to establish a regionwide geo-tagging system for infrastructure projects, while BTA Bill No. 220, or the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in Public Service Act of 2023, mandates the equal distribution of appointments among diverse groups to public service.

Highlighting the significance of BTA Bill No. 219, MP Loong emphasized that this measure would be the Bangsamoro government’s legacy, as it aims to institutionalize moral governance by implementing a geo-tagging system not only in the Ministry of Public Works but also in various agencies involved in infrastructure projects across the region.

The geo-tagging system will create a development reference that includes all sectors, leading to improved planning and programming for long-term anti-poverty and enhanced access to social service programs.

It will also enable the identification of geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas by tracking the cumulative location of development projects, facilitating better monitoring of progress.

One of the key advantages of this system, as explained by Engr. Loong, is its ability to provide real-time progress updates to both government officials and the public.

He said that is a cost-effective and secure method as it enables easier progress monitoring on the ground and in communities without incurring significant security risks or logistics costs.

Under BTA Bill No. 219, all infrastructure projects in the region will undergo geo-tagging at various stages of project implementation using GPS-enabled phones or other GPS and image-capturing devices.

The collected data will be uploaded to an online portal known as the Regional Geo-tagging Databank, which will be created, updated, synchronized, and monitored by the Office of the Chief Minister, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Bangsamoro Information and Communications Technology Office in coordination with other relevant agencies.

Meanwhile, MP Loong also proposed BTA Bill No. 220 to ensure that appointments to positions in the regional office are distributed equitably among various provinces and cities within the region.

The bill specifically targets representation for the Meranaw, Maguindanao, Tausug, Iranun, Yakan, Sama, non-Moro tribes, indigenous peoples, and Christian settler communities.

The bill states that the appointing authorities in regional offices and local government units must also ensure equitable representation of minority groups or tribes within their jurisdictions.

The proposed measure also encourages the recruitment of applicants from diverse tribal groups, indigenous peoples, and settler communities through affirmative action and mechanisms that provide equal access to employment opportunities. It includes conducting job fairs, information dissemination campaigns, and interviews in all provinces within the region.

MP Loong stressed that these proposed measures are timely to address absenteeism, low performance, and resentment from the locals.

The two bills are co-authored by 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, Susana Anayatin, and Muslimin Jakilan. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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