BARMM MPs pledge support for the establishment of eight new municipalities in the Special Geographic Area
August 10, 2023

DAVAO CITY — In a bid to fulfill its commitment to the 63 barangays that voted for inclusion in the Bangsamoro region, Committee on Finance, Budget, and Management Chair Archt. Eduard Guerra urged his colleagues to pass measures aimed at establishing eight municipalities in the BARMM Special Geographic Area.

Guerra said that these barangays left their original municipalities to be part of the Bangsamoro region, driven by the desire for self-determination and hoping for a brighter future in the region.

The Government of the Day filed BTA Bill Nos. 129 to 136 to establish the municipalities of Pahamuddin, Kadayangan, Kabalukan, Kaabakan, Kapalawan, Malidegao, Tugunan, and Ligawasan in the BARMM Special Geographic Area.

These bills are part of BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim’s cabinet legislative agenda.

To ensure that the proposed municipalities are well-prepared for their responsibilities, the CFBM conducted consultations with key officials from the Department of Budget and Management and the Bureau of Local Government Finance. Deliberations centered on necessary appropriations and financial assistance to facilitate the establishment of these municipalities.

Crucial factors such as the national tax allotment and financial assistance earmarked for the eight municipalities were deliberated upon.

Department of Budget and Management’s Local Government and Regional Coordination Bureau Chief Rowena Marte said that these municipalities must meet specific requirements, including certifications from the Land Management Bureau, PSA, and provincial treasurer, by November’s end to secure their national tax allotment by 2024.

Marte said that the allotment of shares from the national tax will be based on whether each municipality meets the minimum requirements for its establishment.

Niño Raymond Alvina, Executive Director of the Bureau of Local Government Finance, explained that the average national tax allotment for a 6th class municipality in 2022 was reported to be P87.25 million, while the range for the same class of municipality in the BARMM region is P130.5 million.

Outlined in BTA Bill Nos. 129 through 136, the Bangsamoro Government will appropriate and provide financial assistance for the administrative and operational requirements of the municipalities. This financial provision will continue until such time that the new municipality has been allocated its share of the IRA.

Creating new municipalities is regulated by the Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 25, which mandates specific criteria, including average annual income, population, and territory size.

The committee is set to finalize its report and submit it to the plenary in August’s plenary session. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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