Transition from ARMM to BARMM gets going

Published November 11, 2018, 5:34 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Francis Wakefield

The core team for the transition of the Bangsamoro began formulating the proposed organizational structure of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) that will be part of the Transition Plan to be submitted to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), following a workshop held in San Mateo, Rizal last Friday.

Bangsamoro Transition Commission logo (Photo via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bangsamoro Transition Commission logo (Photo via Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

The workshop, dubbed “Transitioning from ARMM to BARMM,” was the first of a three-part workshop designed to come up with the Transition Plan.

The three-day workshop aims to provide participants an overview of the organizational and administrative requirements of setting up the BTA and the transitional bureaucracy enshrined in the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

“Let us not allow challenges to dampen our spirits as we continue to work for peace and development for the Bangsamoro and the country,” Deputy Peace Adviser Undersecretary Nabil Tan told the members of the Coordination Team for the Transition (CT4T) for the Bangsamoro at the start of the workshop.

The CT4T is the body tasked to ensure the smooth transition from ARMM to BARMM once the BOL is ratified.
According to the terms of reference (TOR) signed by then GPH-MILF Peace Negotiating Panels on November 23, 2014, the CT4T serves as the “primary mechanism for coordination between Parties and concerned agencies to ensure that the necessary steps are undertaken in preparation for the transition leading to the installation of the BTA.”

The CT4T has five members each from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“With the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law fast approaching, extensive preparations are under way to facilitate smooth and efficient transition from the current ARMM until the installation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority,” Tan said.

Also present in the workshop to provide important inputs were representatives from the MILF, ARMM, Department of Budget and Management, and Civil Service Commission.

Bangsamoro Transition Commissioners Jose I. Lorena and Maisara Dandamun-Lapith also provided inputs during the workshop.

Engr. Baintan Ampatuan of the ARMM-Regional Planning and Development Office gave updates on the current government structure of the ARMM.

Dr. Miyoko Tanaguchi, Senior Adviser on Peacebuilding of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), discussed the comparison between the existing ARMM structure and the BOL provisions on organizational structure.

Tanaguchi has been working with the MILF in the review of the organizational structure of the ARMM and the possible structure to be placed in the Bangsamoro.

JICA Senior Representative Yo Ebisawa expressed confidence the workshop will address the challenge faced by the MILF in transitioning from a revolutionary group to a government body as well as in the transition from ARMM to BARMM.

For his part, Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) President and Chief Executive Officer Engelbert C. Caronan Jr. challenged the participants to fully engage in the discussion and contribute their ideas for the improvement of BARMM.

“We hope that you take full advantage of this opportunity by engaging each and every one in a constructive dialogue, and to always be patient and open to ideas with others, knowing fully well that we do this in the name of peace,” he said.

The workshop was organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) with the CT4T through the support of JICA and DAP.