By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Eleven (11) towns in Muslim Mindanao will starting receiving regular monthly Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) within this first quarter after 11 years without IRA, Bangsamoro autonomous government officials announced this week.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Hadji Murad” Ebrahim has conveyed to elected officials of the 11 towns the good news, Regional Deputy Executive Secretary Abdullah Cusain said.
The 11 towns are Datu Salibo, Datu Hoffer, Mangudadatu, Pandag, Northern Kabuntalan, Datu Blah Sinsuat, Datu Anggal Midtimbang in Maguindanao, as well as Akbar, Al-Barka, Hadji Muhtamad, and Mohammad Ajul in Basilan.
They have been created one after another between 2006 and 2008 by the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). But the national government refused to entitle them IRA because they failed to meet the requirements under R.A. 7160, the Local Government Code of 1991.
For humanitarian and political considerations, sources said the 12 municipal governments subsisted on fiscal aids from national, regional, and provincial administrations.
Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, Minister of the Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro region, said that the Department of Budget and Management had started setting aside the amounts of monthly IRA for the 11 BARRM towns for release beginning this month.