DAVAO CITY—The Bangsamoro Parliament enacted its fifth priority code last week to increase enhanced decentralization in the autonomous region in Mindanao.
The Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the regional lawmaking Parliament passed the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act 49 or the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code (BLGC) on the third and final reading with 57 affirmative votes, four negative votes, and no abstention.
The BLGC is the fifth priority codes that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had set out to achieve to stabilize the regionalize governance. The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) has previously enacted the administrative, civil service, education, and electoral codes.
The regional government said the newly-approved law would transfer administrative responsibilities and authority from the central and regional governments to local government units (LGUs), “allowing them to respond effectively to local needs and establish a well-defined and harmonious relationship between the regional government and the local government units.”
“This simply means that LGUs will have the power and authority to manage their own human resources, procure goods, services, and infrastructure, and exercise substantive administrative control over the delivery of local services falling within their legal mandate,” it said.
This would ensure that the constituents know what services and facilities to expect and demand from their barangay, municipality, city, or province. BARMM’s ministries and offices would need to reorganize and restructure themselves to provide services at a regional level, complementing those of the local governments.
The code has defined sharing schemes between the Bangsamoro government and LGUs, covering collections of national taxes and revenues from natural resource utilization in the region. These resources, combined with LGUs’ own collections from taxes, fees, and charges, will increase the financial capacity of local governments to execute their mandates and provide expected services and facilities.
The BARMM said the local government constituents are assured of the power of initiative, referendum, and recall and vulnerable sectors are also guaranteed sectoral seats in the Sanggunian, “subject to elections and not reserved for relatives of those in power.” The code also grants Indigenous peoples or IPs seats in the barangay, municipality, city, and province, provided they constitute at least 10 percent of the population and do not occupy more than 50 percent of the seats in the Sanggunian.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim, Al Haj, led the ceremonial signing of the code.
“It represents our commitment to gradually and systematically empowering communities by entrusting them with increased power, responsibility, resources, and authority within the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro government,” Ebrahim said.
“[The] BLGC stands as a historic milestone in our shared endeavor to achieve social justice and our pursuit of genuine and meaningful autonomy for the people of the Bangsamoro region,” he added.