The Department of Finance (DOF) said the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) of the national and Bangsamoro governments have resolved four mechanisms to ensure a successful and functional autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao.
In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they made “a significant progress” after six “intensive” meetings since December 2019, which aimed at effectively implement the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
Dominguez said the IGRB has already set in motion four intergovernmental relations (IGR) mechanisms necessary for the implementation of the BOL.
These are the Fiscal Policy Board, the Joint Body for Zones of Joint Cooperation, the Infrastructure Development Board and the Energy Board.
According to Dominguez, these four IGR mechanisms will ensure “adept responses to the issues and challenges that face this vital transition” of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“Notwithstanding all the challenges that faced the nation this year, this crucial body [IGRB] was able to convene six times to resolve key issues and concerns. This is among the clearest indications of the Duterte administration’s resolve to help ensure the successful transition of BARMM,” Dominguez said.
The IGRB, co-chaired by Dominguez and BARMM Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal, held its 6th meeting last December 18.
Dominguez said that amid the limitations set by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGRB “worked hard to resolve our points of divergence and reconcile differences to keep the transition moving at the fastest possible pace.”
Iqbal also acknowledged the accomplishments made by the IGRB, which, he said, has been giving life to the provisions of the BOL and fulfilling its mandate of pursuing the success of the peace process and the BARMM.
Both Dominguez and Iqbal committed to continue in 2021 with their vigorous efforts to realize the shared goal of the national government and the BARMM to bring genuine and meaningful autonomy to Muslim Mindanao.
They both cited the successful turnover of the supervision over Cotabato City and 63 barangays in North Cotabato to the BARMM last December 15 as among the accomplishments of the IGRB.
When the IGRB first convened in Davao City in December 2019, Dominguez expressed optimism that the body could “transform points of differences into points of cooperation between the National Government and Bangsamoro Government.”
The IGRB is mandated to coordinate and resolve issues on intergovernmental relations through regular consultations and continuing non-adversarial negotiations.