President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. hailed the “historic” first local legislative general assembly of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) yesterday.
Mr. Marcos, who was scheduled to leave for the US yesterday evening, told Bangsamoro officials he “insisted” on attending the gathering as it was “crucial to achieving our goal of achieving peace and progress.”
“It is historic and it is a landmark day because it is a measure of the progress that we have made over so many decades as we have strived for peace. We have made some false starts, we have come to some successes, but we have never come this far,” he said.
He also underscored the need for increased cooperation between the national and Bangsamoro governments following the establishment of seven intergovernmental mechanisms in BARMM.
“The national and Bangsamoro governments will now have greater cooperation because of these offices that are now been established. We will have greater cooperation, greater coordination, and we will converge towards the realization of our shared endeavors,” the President said.
“This is the beginning of the process of creating the institutions that we all know are necessary so that we are not dependent on one group, we are not dependent on certain individuals alone. We are dependent on the institutions that will continue to work no matter what happens in the political sphere,” he added.
The seven intergovernmental mechanisms that have been established and are now working in full swing are the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum (PCBPF); Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board (IFPB); Joint Body for the Zones of Joint Cooperation (JBZJC); Intergovernmental Infrastructure Development Board (IFPB); Intergovernmental Energy Board (IEB); and Bangsamoro Sustainable Development Board (BSDB); and the Council of Leaders.
Mr. Marcos assured the BARMM government of continued support to improve the socioeconomic condition of the Bangsamoro people.
“To all our BARMM leaders, I assure you of this administration’s unwavering support for the development agenda to achieve sustainable and peaceful self-governance,” Marcos said.
“Whatever problem is in Mindanao is a Philippine problem. And that is why it requires efforts of all government to make sure that BARMM will be a success in the future,” he added
Acknowledging that much remains to be done, Mr. Marcos said he would support all the initiatives aimed at developing BARMM and transforming it as “a shining beacon of sustainable development in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines”.
“We venture together on this collective journey. I invite each and every Filipino to significantly take part in forging our path of progress, inclusivity, and prosperity for the Bangsamoro region and the entire nation. We have already made our first steps, all we have to do is to continue what we have started to make sure that we never waiver in our determination to succeed,” he said.
The BARMM Local Legislative Assembly’s objectives include empowering the local legislature for the eventual integration of the national development agenda in BARMM, fostering coordination among various legislative leagues to align with the region’s development, and initiating a series of capability programs for the prospective advancement of local legislative bodies in the region.