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COTABATO CITY — Atty. Naguib G. Sinarimbo, head of Bangsamoro READi and minister of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), and UN OCHA’s Melindi Malang co-chaired, today, 20 July 2023, the 2nd joint BARMM-MHT meeting for Current Year 2023.
(BARMM is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. UN OCHA — United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
The meeting was participated by BARMM MOAs and members of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT).
Minister Sinarimbo, in his opening message, thanked the humanitarian partners and BARMM MOAs for joining the meeting. He also provided an overall direction for the meeting by highlighting the need to prepare for the possible humanitarian needs considering the effects of El Nino, flooding, and humanitarian consequence of a potentially violent barangay/Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) election.
The agenda mainly revolved on these issues as well as brief joint discussion on the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day.
Current humanitarian issues in the BARMM, including displacement due mainly to armed conflict and some natural calamities as well as the recent massive flooding due to Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, were presented.
These were jointly presented by the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD) and Bangsamoro READi (Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence).
Response to humanitarian needs during election period
Bangsamoro READi also presented the forecast of PAGASA, the government weather bureau, for El Nino in the BARMM and the steps the regional government has already taken in order to prepare for its possible effect in the region. MILG’s Legal Division discussed the Omnibus Election Code and the prohibited acts during election period, specifically on Social Services.
Among the agreements of the meeting are drafting of contingency plan with BARMM, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), and the MHT for the response to humanitarian needs during election period as well as assisting the regional Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at the Bangsamoro READi Headquarters by consolidating the Early Warning, Early Response initiatives in the region. Bangsamoro READi and UN OCHA will also convene the CMCoord cell.
The joint BARMM-MHT meeting is a unique platform where BARMM MOAs and members of MHT meet to discussion issues and possible collaboration to address humanitarian needs in the region.
Established in 2018 by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), the Bangsamoro region is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the Special Geographic Area (SGA) 63 barangays or villages that voted “Yes” in a plebiscite in February 2019 to be under the BARMM jurisdiction.
According to the Philippine Atlas BARMM has 4,404,288 people. It has 116 municipalities: Basilan, 11 municipalities; Lanao del Sur, 39; undivided 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. (✓)