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PBBM: Stronger BARMM means stronger Philippines

COTABATO CITY—President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. asserted that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is an integral part of the success and development of the whole Philippines.

"The Bangon Pilipinas is incomplete without a Bangsamoro rising along within it [...] A stronger BARMM means a stronger Mindanao. A stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines, bringing us closer to achieving our agendas," he stressed during the 17th Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) meeting on February 8, in Pasay City.

President Marcos and BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim mentioned that they are “one” with the interventions on implementing the peace accords and uplifting the lives of the Bangsamoro amidst plans for the secession of Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines.

“We are acting with dispatch not because of the deadlines that we have set for ourselves but because people battered by war for years should not be denied their destiny to live in peace,” Pres. Marcos said.

The President further shared that the success in bolstering the economy of the Bangsamoro region through active collaboration with different agencies increased investments and employment across the BARMM.

Chief Minister Ebrahim remarked, “The paramount objective for the Bangsamoro government remains – the establishment of an autonomous region that is functional, ready, and thriving in an ever-changing and competitive society.”

“In alignment with the national government’s vision for a Bagong Pilipinas, rest assured of our unwavering partnership and commitment, In Shaa Allah,” he added.

Among the triumphs mentioned were the exchanged diplomatic notes with the Japanese Government for the acquisition of $6.8 million worth of construction equipment for road network improvement and disaster quick response operation in BARMM; signed guidelines of service contracts that guarantee energy security; and the Bangsamoro Board of Investments’ (BBOI) generation of Php3.3 billion worth of investments, which will employ 1,927 workers, during the last quarter of 2023.

Mohagher Iqbal, the IGRB co-chair, stressed that the strides made through effective and productive leadership ensured success in finding political solutions to the decades-long armed conflict in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“While in many parts of the world, the most seasoned of political leaders are scrambling to end the wars in their midst, we, in the Philippines and the Bangsamoro, are reaping the fruits of our sincerity, mutual esteem, and determination to make the lives of our people better,” Iqbal underscored.

He also emphasized that what seemed unthinkable and amounted to bureaucratic nightmares are now realities that have become normal and par for the course of Bangsamoro governance.

Under Section 2, Article VI of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), the IGRB aims to coordinate and resolve intergovernmental relations issues between the National and the Bangsamoro government through regular consultation and negotiation.

IGRB Co-chair Secretary Amenah Pangandaman of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) stated that the concerted efforts of both parties resulted in making Mindanao exemplify peace and development in the entire Philippines.

“We will not leave our future vulnerable to threats that will undermine the developments that we have painstakingly pushed,” Pangandaman continued.

“Rest assured that we will continue to endeavor to turn Mindanao from a land of promise into a land of promises fulfilled,” she said. (BIO/PIA Lanao del Sur)

About the Author

Apipa Bagumbaran

Assistant Regional Head

Region 10

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