“Moral governance means that the acts of the Bangsamoro Government must be legal and legitimate; its policy-making rational and deliberative; it is responsible to its people and ensures checks, balances and accountability to them. In other words, a government composed of public servants- in its real sense. Servants who are prepared to sacrifice their well-being for the well-being of the people whom they serve.”
Short link: https://wp.me/paaccn-pzU
By EDD K. USMAN |Twitter: @edd1819| Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — SciTech and Digital News
COTABATO CITY (SDN) January 18, 2023 — Thousands of people are expected to see, hear, feel and enjoy the colors, the sounds, and the products of the Bangsamoro region as it celebrates its 4th Bangsamoro Foundation Day (BFD) here on January 21 to 27.
Participants and visitors will come from the region’s landlocked and island provinces and travel by land, sea, and air from the region’s various areas that comprised the new political entity (NPE).
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), established in 2018 by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao (now del Sur and del Norte), Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the 63 barangays or villages dubbed the Special Geographic Area (SGA) that voted “yes” in a plebiscite in January and February 2019 to be under the BARMM jurisdiction.
According to the Philippine Atlas has 4,404,288 people. It has 116 municipalities: Basilan, 11 municipalities; Lanao del Sur, 39; Maguindanao, 36; Sulu, 19; and Tawi-Tawi, 11. Its component cities are Cotabato (the regional center and capital) in Maguindanao; Lamitan in Basilan; and Marawi in Lanao del Sur.
As in past festivities, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chairman and Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim will lead the kick-off ceremonies as he and other Bangsamoro officials usher in the event’s colorful festivities.
It is expected that Ebrahim, who succeeded the late founder and chairman of the MILF, Sheikh Salamat Hashim, will once again remind his fellow Bangsamoro government employees on practicing “Moral Governance”. This refers to the BARMM “carrying the responsibility of governing and serving the Bangsamoro, and towards the change that the Bangsamoro Government aspired for its people and territory“.
“Moral governance means that the acts of the Bangsamoro Government must be legal and legitimate; its policy-making rational and deliberative; it is responsible to its people and ensures checks, balances and accountability to them. In other words, a government composed of public servants- in its real sense. Servants who are prepared to sacrifice their well-being for the well-being of the people whom they serve,” said Ebrahim in November 2019 in a speech read for him during an event by then BARMM Assistant Regional Cabinet Secretary Atty. Ayla Herazade Ebos Salendab.
The BARMM has been gearing up for the event this past weeks or so, as regional officials anticipate another blockbuster celebration featuring many highlights and sidelights.
A news report on http://www.bangsamoro.gov.ph said the celebration revolves around the theme “Sama-Samang Pagtataguyod Sa Mas Mapayapa At Mas Masaganang Bangsamoro.” (In English the theme is translated roughly to “Unity in Promoting a more Peaceful and more Abundant Bangsamoro”.)
The date January 21, 2019, is the period when eligible voters of the region ratified the BOL in a plebiscite, thereby, officially establishing the BARMM, replacing and abolishing the 20 years old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Included in the plebiscite was the inclusion of the cities of Cotabato and Isabela (in Basilan) as part of the region. In the second plebiscite for its expansion on February 6 the BARMM netted 63 barangays geographically located in the province of North Cotabato, though not a part of the BARMM. The 63 barangays are now under the regional government’s jurisdiction, thus, are beneficiaries as well of the “dividends of peace” — governance infrastructures and services, many of which are being provided by the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) headed by Minister Naguib G. Sinarimbo.
Incidentally, this year’s BFD commemoration coincides with the decision of the Supreme Court dated January 12, 2023, titled “SC Upholds Including Cotabato City in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region”. Obviously, the title is self-explanatory.
The High Court voted unanimously in upholding the city’s inclusion, a politically charged bone of contention, in the Bangsamoro region. None of the justices voted against, two did not participate, one was on leave.
Ebrahim lauded the Supreme Court decision.
“The Bangsamoro Government welcomes the Supreme Court of the Philippines’ decision to uphold the plebiscite including the Cotabato city in the new region. Cotabato City is and will always be the crown jewel of the Bangsamoro and home to some of the most important moments of our history,” the Chief Minister said.
Sinarimbo expressed elation at the decision.
This year’s celebration, the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) pointed out in the referred news report, has various committees organized and tasked to prepare “service-oriented” activities, among them, the Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG), Ayudang Medikal Mula sa Bangsamoro Government (AMBAG), and other social services for the regional constituents. These activities will be conducted at the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC), the BARMM’s seat of government in the city.
These are the Economic Development Committee (EDCom), Development Administrative Committee (DACOM), Social Development Committee (SDC), Infrastructure Development Committee (IPD), and the Peace, Public Order, Safety and Security Committee (PPOSSCOM). Each tasked to perform and deliver particular functions and services.
Read: IQ’s MBHTE Holds 1st Salah Jubair Essay Writing Contest; Php450K Await Winners
Over at the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) headed by Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal, the education ministry is conducting the 1st Salah Jubair Essay Writing Competition, a highlight of the activities, for high school and college students in the Bangsamoro region.
Prizes amounting to a total of Php450,000 will go to the winners of the competition’s three levels or categories.
And at Sinarimbo’s MILG, the ministry will hold the Governance Day on January 23 (another of the event’s highlights) during which, he said, the region’s performing local government units (LGUs) will be recognized and bestowed awards. (✓) — (with report from Aisah Abas/BIO)