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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Bangsamoro Parliament to hold simultaneous public consultations on electoral and local governance codes in BaSulTa

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Parliament will hold simultaneous public consultations in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi from December 5 to 8, doubling its efforts to expedite the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Electoral and Local Governance Codes.

Through the public consultations, the Parliament will gather legislative inputs, position papers, and recommendations from government and non-government stakeholders in order to improve the said priority codes.

Prior to the public consultations, the parliamentary and statutory committees paid courtesy visits to the provincial government to ensure that all key stakeholders were involved in the said public consultations.

During the transition period, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, as the interim government, is mandated to ensure the passage of the priority measures, which include the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Governance Code, Bangsamoro Education Code, and the Bangsamoro Civil Service Code.

To date, the Parliament has enacted administrative, civil service, and education codes.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim vowed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to pass local governance and electoral codes in the first quarter of 2023.

The Committee on Rules, chaired by Floor Leader Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba, will lead public consultations on Parliament Bill No. 29, or the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, while the Committee on Local Government, chaired by Atty. Raissa Jajurie, will lead consultations on Parliament Bill No. 30, or the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code.

Bangsamoro Electoral Code

The electoral code, which was filed in September by the Government of the Day, will prescribe the structural, functional, and procedural principles in the elections of officers within the Bangsamoro region.

It will also ensure honest, credible, just, and free elections, allowing democratic political participation and reflecting the genuine will of the electorate.

In accordance with Republic Act No. 11593, the first regular election for the Bangsamoro government will be held in 2025, synchronized with the next midterm elections.

The Committee on Rules held its first round of public consultations in Manila in October, gathering legislative input from the Commission on Elections experts, election watchdogs, the Philippine National Police, district representatives from the region, and other civil society organizations.

The second leg of BEC public consultations will be held on December 5 and 7.

Bangsamoro Local Governance Code

The Parliament Bill No. 30 or the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code, which has been refiled by the Government of the Day in September, seeks to provide a clear direction between local government units and the Bangsamoro government.

The proposed code will create a more responsive and accountable local government structure, with local governments gradually and systematically gaining more rights, authority, responsibilities, and resources.

The GOTD filed the local governance code in July 2020, but it remained pending with the Committee on Local Government until the session adjourned during the first parliament, which ran from 2019 to 2022.

The first round of public consultation for the local governance code will be on December 6 and 8.

The next round of public consultations will be held on the 21st and 22nd of December in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Special Geographic Area, and Cotabato City. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)

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