Cotabato City—The Bangsamoro Government has sent three truckloads of aid packages to disaster-stricken Luzon provinces, as it celebrated Tuesday the first anniversary of the plebiscite on the creation of the new autonomous region last year.
Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Hadji Murad Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said the region’s legal mandate in terms of delivering humanitarian services was not limited to the majority Muslim areas of its territorial jurisdiction.
“Acts of humanitarian services during disasters are neither determined by religious affiliation nor limited by geographic boundaries,” Ebrahim said.
Abdulraof Macacua, a leading figure in the Bangsamoro Parliament, said the sphere of humanitarian aid and services is universal, and is not defined by teritorial boundaries or religious beliefs.
Ebrahim and Macacua also sent their prayers for the families displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano, amid forecasts of risks of subsequent eruptions.
“This is in line with the moral governance. Assistance is not limited to our areas, as is provided under the BOL [Bangsamoro Organic Law or Republic Act 11054],” Macacua said.
BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said three aid trucks of the region’s Rapid Emergency and Disaster Response headed for a two-day cross-regional land-and-ferry trip to Luzon provinces of Cavite, Laguna and particularly, Batangas as they left here 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The trucks were transporting 1,500 packages of rebagged rice, viands, water, containers, and sanitary kits.
“In the name of the Bangsamoro Government, we are sending our team to.help the evacueed in Luzon. This is our first activity through the BARMM READi far outside rhe regional territory,” Ebrahim said.
Sinarimbo said the BARMM team of disaster workers, mostly former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, had prior communicated for coordination with the Incident Command System of Batangas.
Sinarimbo said more than 300 Muslims or 130 families were among the 1,770 individuals housed in Batangas Evacuation Center.
“While the Muslim IDPs (internally displaced persons) have specific needs, we will respond to the general needs of the evacuees, without discrimination,” Sinarimbo said.
The BARMM has been created by RA 11054, the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was submitted to a plebiscite in five provinces and two cities for a core territory on January 21, 2019.
“While we asserted our aspiration for our right to self-determination on that day, we affirm our commitment to remain a part of the national government, as we help our fellow Filipinos badly stricken by disaster,” Sinarimbo said.