BARMM’s Significant Accomplishments in 2022: A Year-end Review

BARMM News

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Part 3 of 3

BTA Interim Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim at Dusit Thani
Manila in Makati City, Metro Manila circa 2022. (Photo: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

COTABATO CITY (BIO) — The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has until mid-2025 to achieve its mandate, putting in place governance structure and laying down institutions and services.

Unless lightning strikes twice and prolong the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) lifespan that was birthed in January 2019. Then President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the extension of the BTA for another three years as the global coronavirus pandemic that broke in Wuhan City, China, stymied, or at least slowed down considerably, BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim’s Government of the Day.

In laying down the foundation of the Bangsamoro autonomous region, it pertains to its physical makeup — buildings, roads, bridges — as well as the governance fixtures. All this in preparation for the regular officials — elected and appointed — of the BARMM.

Thus, under the leadership of Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the BARMM Government ensured in 2022 that adequate services were provided to the region’s population.

It means the BARMM provided more public infrastructure projects, decent housing units, fostering employment and investment opportunities, advancing high-quality education programs, cultivating peace and security conditions, and improving resiliency and preparedness.

Plummeting inflation rate

The PSA (Philippine Statistic Authority) announced on December 9 that BARMM recorded the lowest inflation rate among all regions in the country at 6.0 percent for the month of November 2022.

Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim administers oath for ‘moral governance of BARMM officials in an event in Makati City in 2022. (Photo: SciTech and Digital News)

In October, the Bangsamoro region, along with Region XII, also recorded the lowest inflation rate among all regions in the country at 6.5 percent. In November, Sulu province recorded the lowest inflation rate at 3.6%, followed by Maguindanao at 4.4%, Tawi-Tawi at 5.5%, Basilan at 6.6%, and Lanao del Sur at the highest at 10.0%.

Boosting local agri and fishery production

Along with various ministries, the Bangsamoro Government fully supported all farmers and fishermen by providing agricultural and fishing equipment such as rice processing, farm machinery, fishing boats, Ice Plants with cooler storage, solar dryer, and seaweed seedlings among others as they contribute their share to ensure the availability of agricultural products.

BARMM’s agriculture and fishery sector remain pliant and resilient as one of the region’s largest industries; the region manages and continues to provide the much-needed food supplies in Bangsamoro.

Part 2 of 3: BARMM’s Significant Accomplishments in 2022: A Year-end Review

The total volume of fisheries production in the country for the second quarter of 2022 has reached 1,213.31 metric tons (MT). Of the total volume, BARMM has total fisheries production of 346.42 MT or 26%, making it the biggest contributor to fisheries production in the country.

In 2022, MAFAR (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform) reported that the region’s production yields recorded a significant 36.46% increase in Palay production for the first quarter of 2020.

As for corn production, BARMM increased by 11.24% in the first quarter of 2021, that is, from 328, 161.74 metric tons (MT) in 2020 to 365,042.98 MT in 2021.

Part 1 of 3: BARMM’s Significant Accomplishments in 2022: A Year-end Review

MAFAR distributes and supplies farm inputs such as bags of assorted hybrid corn seeds, bottles of herbicides, bottles of pesticides, bags of certified palay seeds, and bottles of foliar fertilizers to the farmers in the region.

More investments and entrepreneurs

In terms of investments, according to the Regional Bangsamoro Board of Investments (BBOI), the Bangsamoro region has generated a total of Php8.1 billion worth of investments in its first three years.

Main Building of the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC), Cotabato City. (Credit: SDN — SciTech and Digital News)

Regional BBOI reports that for three years since the creation of BARMM local investors are boosting the economy with their investments in the region. Of which, Php4.1 billion worth of investment was logged in 2019, Php114 million in 2020, Php2.8 billion in 2021, and Php1.2 billion for 2022, which generated thousands of workers. Bangsamoro region’s largest industry investor is in the banana industry and agriculture with 65.13% or Php4.5 billion worth of investments.

In 2022, a total of Php1.3 billion worth of investments have been generated by the Regional BBOI and generated around 1,052 employees in the region.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Tourism (MTIT) provided employment facilitation and training programs that will link workers to employment opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bangsamoro Government pushed for more entrepreneurship opportunities and conducted various investment forums and business matching and Networking Investment for Local Executives (NILE) projects and Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) in different provinces.

 Moro leaders unite in new composition of BTA under President Marcos

The previous year marked a historic event as the members and key figures of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and came together for peace and solidarity in the Bangsamoro region along with the coming of the new administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. by agreeing to be part of the BTA.

The extended Bangsamoro Parliament consists of MILF and MNLF affiliates, peace advocates, representatives from Indigenous People (IP) lawyers, lawyer-certified public accountants, engineers, architects, medical doctors, media practitioners, and former and current government high-level officials.

OPAPRU Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. speaks with BARMM Minister of Parliament Mohagher M. Iqbal during a Bangsamoro Parliament public hearing in Manila recently. (Photo: SciTech and Digital News)

Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. lauded the President for making the Bangsamoro a top priority of his administration.

Bangsamoro Member of Parliament Atty. Yasser Omar C. Sema raises a point during the Parliament’s public hearing in Manila. (Photo: SciTech and Digital News)

“The joining of the MNLF of Chair Nur Misuari with the MILF-led BTA is auspicious and heralds a significant step towards unity in the BARMM,” Galvez pointed out.

Bolstered security, peace and order

As part of the Ministry of Peace and Order Safety’s (MPOS) mandate which is to institutionalize peace building, reconciliation, and unification, the Bangsamoro Government along with the National Government and Law Enforcement Agencies created various programs to sustain peace and order in the region.

BARMM’s security condition has significantly improved according to theOPAPRU during the recent 3rd Bangsamoro Public Order and Security Conference.

“The security condition in Bangsamoro has significantly improved, we have witnessed the efforts being carried off by the Bangsamoro government in strengthening peace and security efforts in the area. We are confident that these initiatives will continue the momentum in the coming months and years including the BARMM regional election in 2025,” Galvez said via teleconference.

Bangsamoro Spokesman and Interior Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo. (Image supplied)

Based on the annual accomplishment by the ministry, 17 grassroots peace builders were recognized and awarded for being Peace Champions this year while a total of 720 peace advocates have been trained on early warning and early response training.

In 2022, the Bangsamoro Government also entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) for the conduct of the latter’s Special Qualifying Eligibility Examination (NSQEE).

Qualified members of the MILF and MNLF can join the Philippine National Police (PNP) if they meet the requirements set by NAPOLCOM. Meanwhile, various former members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) returnees and former combatants individually received financial and livelihood assistance from the MPOS.

BARMM government, thru the MILG (Ministry of the Interior and Local Government) recently handed over a total of 11 patrol cars to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Region (PRO-BAR) to strengthen the duties and responsibilities of men and women in uniform in sustaining peace and security in the region.

Solons, LGU Execs, and MNLF Support BARMM Transition Extension.

Strengthening recovery and rehabilitation efforts amid disasters

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENRE), through its Forest Management Services, planted around 11.5 million tree seedlings in 10,401 hectares of land across the region. It also provided income to individuals from upland communities and people’s organizations.

Apart from reforestation as one of the environmental measures to minimize the impact of natural disasters and mitigate climate change, the ministry also implemented and conducted a series of Information Education and Communication Campaigns through its provincial and municipal level field offices.

Likewise, the BARMM’s Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidents (READi) unit under the MILG has trained hundreds of workers and volunteers in Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) program.

Further, 16 BARMM-Local Government Units (LGUs) were recognized for their excellent and outstanding efforts on local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) during the recent 22nd Gawad KALASAG (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan, Sariling Galing ang Kaligtasan) Seals Awards led by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD-BARMM).

Following the devastation of Tropical Storm Paeng, the Bangsamoro Government implemented two-phased interventions worth Php2.9 billion for the early recovery and rehabilitation of people and places affected.

Residents who were displaced due to “Paeng” were continuously being provided relief assistance and supplies from the Bangsamoro Government. The early warning systems were also improved to ensure accurate and timely delivery of disaster information and warnings down to the local levels.

Approval of the 2023 budget

The BTA Parliament approved Php85.3 billion budget for 2023 from Php79.8 billion for 2022 on December 20, with 44 affirmative votes, zero negative votes, and zero abstentions.

BARMM budget has increased by around 6.89% increment with big chunks of the budget allocated to education, health, infrastructure, and social services.

On the same day, BTA approved the proposed extension of the availability of the Special Development Fund (SDF) and General Appropriation Act of Bangsamoro (GAAB) filed by the Government on the Day.

“We need to constantly remind ourselves that every peso we spent here in the BARMM is borne out of the blood, sweat, and tears of the people and communities that went through so much pain and suffering for the sake of the struggle. It is important that we keep our hearts pure and intentions sincere whenever we make use of our budget…and that is one essence of moral governance,” the Chief Minister pointed out.

BTA filed priority codes

In 2022, the Parliament has also submitted 16 priority legislations, two of which are the priority codes namely the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code (BLGC) and the Bangsamoro Electoral Code (BEC). Recently, the BTA also proposed bills creating eight (8) municipalities in the Special Geographic Area or SGA from Cotabato Province which became an addition to the official territory of the BARMM after a successful plebiscite in 2019.

“We hope that these will set the tone for the new BTA. So, all things considered, I think it is safe to say that we were able to sustain the positive momentum we had in 2022 in terms of milestones and overall direction,” Ebrahim said. (Johaira Sahidala/BIO) — (/)

Conclusion!

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