COTABATO CITY ― Bangsamoro lawmakers championed BTA Bill No. 218, a measure aiming to declare Bud Tukay Peak a community-based ecotourism zone.
Describing Bud Tukay Peak as a hidden gem, Member of Parliament Engr. Don Mustapaha Loong noted that it will bring pride to the region and its adjacent regions and has the potential to provide a sustainable source of revenue for the local community.
Beyond economic benefits, Engr. Loong emphasized the proposed ecotourism zone’s significance in capitalizing on ongoing national and local government efforts to rebrand Sulu from its war-torn history.
The ecotourism zone, if approved, could play a pivotal role in reshaping the province’s reputation and enhancing its appeal to both domestic and international visitors.
The Bud Tukay Peak Ecotourism Act, if enacted, would empower the Bangsamoro Government to lead the development and promotion of community-based ecological tourism in the vicinity of Bud Tukay Peak.
The bill also seeks to preserve the environment, conserve biodiversity, and create ecotourism products and programs that stimulate local employment and livelihood opportunities.
To safeguard the ecological integrity of the area, buffer zones surrounding Bud Tukay Peak would be established, and these zones would be managed in accordance with a comprehensive ecotourism development and management plan crafted under the proposed legislation.
PB No. 218 is also co-authored by MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., 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, and Muslimin Jakilan.
Meanwhile, another proposed measure has also entered first reading, pushing to grant awards and incentives for Bangsamoro individuals who have brought honor and recognition to the region.
“Any success, no matter how big or small, ought to be celebrated and rewarded. Since these Bangsamoro citizens have endured and overcome challenges and pressures, any impressive feat should be publicly acknowledged, and such achievements should be rewarded,” MP Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, main author of PB No. 201, said.
MP Ampatuan emphasized the importance of recognizing and rewarding excellence, particularly considering the challenges and pressures that Bangsamoro achievers often face in their pursuit of greatness.
According to PB No. 201, also known as the “Bangsamoro Achievers Act of 2023,” anyone who identifies as Bangsamoro and who wins gold, silver, or bronze at any competition or examination (whether national or worldwide) will be eligible for awards and financial incentives.
Other MPs Amilbahar Mawallil, Atty. Laisa Alamia, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr. and Rasul Ismael are co-authors of PB No. 201. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)