‘Kids, youth main feature of Bangsamoro code’

Cotabato City—The welfare of children and youth will be one of principal features of a Bangsamoro local government code to help them grow on firm foundation being both vulnerable to societal vile and potentials to human and community development. 

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim said, “The only way to realize the aspiration of the decade-struggle of the Bangsamoro people is to be able to achieve the changes we want in the governance.”

The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao leads the drafting of the region’s local government code, a priority legislation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority  provided under Republic Act 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law. The other three are: Administrative code, civil service code, and elections law.

In a roundtable forum here Monday, MILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the lens of children and youth welfare is just one of the important issues that drafters of the BARMM local government code will be taking up as they continue working.

Both the UN Development Programme and the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund are helping provide technical and logistics assistance to the BARMM in the writing of its local government code.

Study shows that Moro children in situations of armed conflict are some of the most vulnerable to exploitation being often deprived of their early rights of child and youth development. Nash B. Maulana

More often, virtually ignored is the mandatory provision of playground spaces for children and youth by barangay and municipal local government units (LGUs) for children in their areas of jurisdiction.  

In this day and age of extremism and human trafficking, Moro youths are most vulnerable in many instances of undocumented recruitment. Unscrupulous recruiters of domestic helpers locally and abroad have often preyed on young female Moros from families displaced by armed conflict.     

Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro Local Government Code is one of the important codes that BTA is mandated to pass as it “will clearly define the relationship between the LGUs and the Bangsamoro government.”

BARMM officials said raring the Moro youth from state of vulnerability into development endeavors will be a “substantial aspect” of “enhancement of security,” one of the 12-Point Bangsamoro Government Agenda.   

He also recognized the importance of LGUs as they are the real face of governance to which constituents can easily relay their concerns.

Ebrahim said he had issued a memorandum directing the BARMM agencies to align their plans, projects, and programs to the 12-point agenda of the Bangsamoro government.

The 12-point agenda of the BARMM published by the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority include the enactment of priority bills; integration of development plans; establishment of appropriate bureaucracy; continuity of existing government services; special programs for transitioning combatants; supporting the on-going Marawi rehabilitation; development of enabling policy environment; activation of job-generating industries; enhancement of security; maximizing synergistic partnerships; ensure environmental compliance; and exploration of Bangsamoro’s economic potentials.

Sinarimbo said a Bangsamoro local government code will outline and define the mandate of the Bangsamoro government in its relations with LGUs. He added that the BARMM Local Government Code being written now will be enacted by 2020.

“Let us attempt to create a system that will allow us for the first time not just in the region but in the country to integrate service delivery and programming to the different LGUs,” he said, adding that the three-year opportunity given to the Bangsamoro should not be missed.

During the initial round of the drafting of the said code, participants did a comparative analysis of the Muslim Mindanao Act No. 25, the Local Government Code of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as the BARMM forerunner, and RA 7160, the National Local Government Code, in relation to the challenges and opportunities on local planning and service delivery, local revenue generation, and local autonomy and innovations.

Topics: Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao , BARMM , welfare of children
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