Zubiri: There is still much to be done for BARMM

Published December 6, 2022, 8:11 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri sought to institutionalize the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum (PCBPF) as there is much to be done for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) which is still in a transition stage.

During the plenary session on Tuesday, December 6, Zubiri said Congress and the Bangsamoro Parliament met last November to identify the most urgent legislative concerns of the Parliament through the PCBPF, an inter-governmental body ‘’that will help us work together to achieve and maintain genuine pace and progress for the Bangsmoro region.’’

The Senate chief said the Bangsamoro region proved it could stand on its own two feet and that it is fully capable of exercising its autonomy in the face of challenges such as the Covid-19 and severe storm ‘Paeng.’

‘ ’Most urgently, there is a need to pass the priority legislation, particularly the remaining codes, of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority such as the Electoral Code, and the Local Government Code, to name a few. These codes will form the foundation of the Bangsamoro government, and it is absolutely vital that these are passed soon, as we cannot afford to extend the Bangsamoro Transition Authority anymore,’’ Zubiri stressed.

‘’The establishment of the PCBPF, or the Forum, will allow us to strengthen our coordination with the Bangsamoro Parliament, in aim of discussing and taking swift action on pertinent legislative concerns for the region,’’ he said.

Zubiri emphasized that the Bangsamoro Organic Law is not a quick-fix solution to the decades of conflict that they are trying to undo in the Bangsamoro region.

‘’While it gives us necessary framework, we still have to continuously do the work of upholding peace and making way for progress,’’ he said.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva pledged his full support for the adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 5, taking into consideration Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 2, regarding the institutionalization of the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum today.

Villanueva hailed the continuing support of the Senate towards progress and development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, looking forward to better legislative initiatives in the region.

“Through the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum, we can harmonize policies of our national government and the Bangsamoro government,” Villanueva said in Filipino.

The majority leader also praised Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri, not only for principally sponsoring the Bangsamoro Organic Law during the 17th Congress, but also leading the charge for its full implementation..

For his part, Senator. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa joined his colleagues in pushing for the adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 5 which seeks to establish the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum.

In his co-sponsorship speech, Dela Rosa underscored the significant role played by the Bangsamoro people, the Muslim Filipinos and the indigenous cultural communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the development of the whole country.

“Today, more than ever, the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament forum will unite our hearts and minds for the well-being of the people of BARMM,” he said.

Both Zubiri and Dela Rosa are Mindanao residents.