Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will pave the way for the rapid development of the area.
Dominguez said the National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body represented the commitment of the Duterte administration and the new government of BARMM to institute innovative mechanisms and yield productive results from the consultative process, especially during the crucial transition period for BARMM.
Dominguez and BARMM Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education signed the terms of reference of the joint secretariat of the IGRB as co-chairmen of the intergovernmental body.
The heads of the joint secretariat for the national government and BARMM also signed the TOR.
“The autonomous government is an exciting initiative. Many other countries are closely observing the substantial autonomy taking shape in this region, which was once torn by conflict. I am confident there
will be sufficient goodwill and a large pool of talent to make this initiative a success,” Dominguez said.
Under the terms of reference, the IGRB is mandated to coordinate and resolve issues on intergovernmental relations between the national government and the BARMM through regular consultation and continuing negotiations in a non-adversarial manner.
Its joint secretariat is tasked to prepare and submit the meeting agenda to document the proceedings of the meeting, prepare the highlights of the meeting and handle all administrative requirements relative to the conduct of the meeting.
The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process was designated as the joint secretariat of the IGRB.
The IGRB will exhaust all means to resolve issues brought before it, which include the effective implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the national programs and projects of the National Government in the BARMM.
The IGRB is also tasked to resolve territorial issues and issues of devolution and jurisdiction; and the creation of the other intergovernmental relations mechanisms enumerated under the BOL.
Under the TOR, unresolved issues will be elevated to the President, through the Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Government.
Even before the IGRB held its first meeting, the Department of Finance already organized a series of dialogs with BARMM officials and formed a technical working group involving other government agencies to assist the officials of the new Bangsamoro government in running their economic agencies and crafting sound policies.
Dominguez said that through the IGRB “we hope to achieve informed and constructive discussions aimed at exploring the best plausible solutions to transform points of differences into points of cooperation between the National Government and Bangsamoro Government.”