Sen. Legarda reiterates commitment to sustaining peace and development efforts in BARMM
August 23, 2023

PASAY CITY — Senator Loren Legarda has reaffirmed her commitment to advancing efforts for sustained peace and progress in the Bangsamoro region.

Speaking at the second meeting of the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum (PCBPF), Legarda emphasized the significance of collaborative efforts to harmonize legislative initiatives that align with the unique needs of the region.

Highlighting the Bangsamoro region as the culmination of extensive peace negotiations, Legarda underlined its role in embodying the Bangsamoro people’s aspirations for economic, socio-cultural, and spiritual growth.

As the transition of government processes continues, she stressed the importance of strengthening programs through efficient coordination and cooperation in legislative endeavors tailored to the region’s specific needs.

“The Bangsamoro people can establish a legacy built on the foundations of moral governance and take ownership of their stories, sharing their aspirations with the rest of the world,” she added.

The PCBPF serves as a crucial platform for the two legislative bodies to deliberate on legislative measures and issues affecting both the regional and national governments.

The continuous collaboration seeks to find common ground on various matters and avoid potential conflicts arising from the implementation of provisions within the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

Chaired by distinguished leaders in their respective chambers, Senator Loren Legarda, Representative Yasser Balindong, and Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong, the PCBPF represents a key platform for these legislative bodies to engage in constructive dialogues, fostering understanding and consensus on crucial legislative measures and issues.

During its recent meeting, the PCBPF constituted several technical working groups to focus on several matters, including the integration of Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front members into the ranks of the Philippine National Police, the application period for amnesty, the qualifications required for appointment as a judge of the Shari’ah Circuit Court, and a discussion on laws related to the upgrading of hospitals in BARMM.

Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim of BARMM expressed the hope that the Philippine Congress would maintain open lines of communication whenever legislative measures have the potential to impact the region’s cultural and historical identity.

Senator Robin Padilla highlighted the significance of the PCBPF in showcasing the progress achieved by the BARMM since its inception.

He emphasized that the Bangsamoro government is actively functioning and adapting to changes while working to address issues.

The Bangsamoro government is already making progress, Padilla added. “There are adjustments, but we can see that something is being done.”

The forum, he said, is also a symbol of unity toward peace. “For a long time, the voices of this community have been unheard. Through PCBPF, their concerns will resonate not only within Congress but across the entire nation,” he added.

Speaker Atty. Pangalian Balindong also presented the accomplishments of the Bangsamoro Parliament, highlighting the passage of the priority codes.

To date, the Bangsamoro Parliament has approved 388 resolutions and 46 bills, including the administrative, civil service, education, and electoral codes, as well as the eight bills that create municipalities for the 63 barangays in the BARMM Special Geographic Area.

Balindong announced that the Local Governance Code is now at the committee level, and they are diligently working towards its swift passage to the plenary.

“As we move through this critical juncture in our history, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fulfilling our responsibilities and paving the way for a brighter future for our region and people,” said Balindong. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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