By CHINO S. LEYCO
The Bangsamoro government has appointed six of its key executive and legislative officials as members of a fiscal policy body tasked to address revenue imbalances and fluctuations in the financial needs and revenue-raising capacity of the new autonomous region.
The body — the Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board (IFPB) — will also have members from the national government led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
The IFPB is co-chaired by Dominguez and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim.
A report to Dominguez said the BARMM has also named to the IFPB Minister Abu Amri Taddik, Minister Naguib Sinari, Deputy Speaker Hatamil Hassan, Engr. Mohajirin Ali, and Said Salendab.
For the national government, the other IFPB members are Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
In his report, Jesus Nathaniel Gonzales of the DOF Legal Group said the representatives from the national government agreed that for easier coordination, a focal person should be appointed for each of the government agencies that are members of the IFPB.
Last January 7, the BARMM and national government representatives met where they discussed the draft terms of reference of the Board and the secretariat patterned after the National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body.
“The national government representatives also agreed that each of the agencies shall appoint a focal person, so it’s easier to coordinate,” Gonzales said said.
Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, who heads the Legal Group, said the first organizational meeting of the IFPB is scheduled in the third week of March.
Last December, the IGRB held its inaugural meeting in Davao City.
This body is mandated to coordinate and resolve issues on intergovernmental relations between the national government and the BARMM through regular consultations and continuing negotiations in a non-adversarial manner.
Dominguez said the IGRB is a “major step forward” in realizing a substantial and functional autonomy for the new autonomous Muslim region, in step with President Duterte’s commitment to achieve just and lasting peace in Mindanao.
He expressed the hope that the new Bangsamoro autonomous region will “light up the pathway for rapid development” for the people of Mindanao, especially those from communities once torn by conflict.