THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has urged local government units (LGUs) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to support the interim BARMM Regional Government that represents the Muslim Filipinos’ long years of struggle for meaningful autonomy.
Headed by Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, the BARMM regional government according to the DILG, has “no room for failure in this opportunity for change and a fresh start.”
Secretary Eduardo Año said BARMM does not only represent the long years of struggle of Muslim Filipinos for meaningful autonomy but also a rare chance for the long forsaken and embattled region to start a new chapter in their region’s history.
Año said that while there are peculiarities and differences in political beliefs and customs, “we must take actions that would open doors for unity and harmony among our people.”
“Kailangan nating magkaisa upang magkaroon ng kapayapaan at kaunlaran hindi lamang sa BARMM, kundi sa buong Pilipinas. Ngunit mangyayari lang iyon kapag ang mga desisyon natin ay may konsiderasyon sa kalagayan ng kapwa Pilipino – maging ano man ang paniniwala, kultura, o lahi,” he said.
Año and senior DILG officials held a consultation-dialogue with the governors and mayors of BARMM yesterday in Quezon City to discuss the delineation of the roles and functions of the national government, BARMM, and LGUs in view of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
During the consultation, BARMM LGUs raised the need for greater coordination between them, the BARMM regional government and the seemingly lack of support to BARMM of some LGUs because they did not vote for the BOL. The DILG secretary assured BARMM LCEs (local chief executives) of the Department’s full support in guiding and assisting them in the transition process and onwards, reiterating the role of the Department to facilitate consensus with the regional government and the LGUs on the best ways forward through the Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) mechanism and other informal means.
“We need to consult each other, and plan and craft the future together,” he added.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the Department will be present in addressing the concerns raised by the BARMM LCEs as the success of the new region can serve as an example of a successful federal region.
BARMM is composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, Cotabato City, and 63 North Cotabato barangays.