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COTABATO CITY, November 6, 2023 – Winning Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) candidates from the Bangsamoro Special Geographic Area (SGA) made up of 63 barangays took their oaths on Monday at the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC) before BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim.
BARMM is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) created through the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).
The historic oathtaking ceremony was the first for SGA BLGU (Bangsamoro Local Government Unit) officials since the SGA’s 63 barangays were officially turned over to the BARMM following a plebiscite in February 2019.
Butch Malang, Administrator of the SGA Development Authority (SGADA), reminded the newly elected officials to embody Moral Governance, which he describes as the Bangsamoro Government’s leading advocacy.
He also assured SGA barangay and SK officials that the SGADA will continue to provide services to the SGA as it performs its functions for its constituents.
Meanwhile, Ministry of the Interior Local Government (MILG) Minister Atty. Naguib G. Sinarimbo said that all newly elected officials in the BARMM, including the SGA, will go through the Bangsamoro Barangay Newly Elected Officials (BBNEO) training. “Para ho klaro kung ano yung mga steps ninyo para tuloy-tuloy yung serbisyo sa barangay (So that every step you take leads to your continuing service for the barangay).”
“Massive ‘yung intervention ng regional government para tulungan ‘yung 63 barangays na umangat agad ‘yung level of development so from the different Ministries, kay Chief Minister, kino-coordinate ng Administrator Butch Malang,” Sinarimbo continued, stating that 62 barangay halls are already in various stages of construction out of the 63 SGA barangays.
“There will be massive intervention of the regional government to help the 63 villages rise quickly the level of development. So, from the different ministries, from the Chief Minister, coordination is already being done by Administrator Butch Malang,” the MILG chief said.
He also said that newly elected Barangay Officials and SK Members will go through Newly Elected Officials training, which will be conducted by the MILG’s respective provincial and city offices; SK members will also go through mandatory SK training, which will be conducted by the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC).
MILG also issued a directive to activate Transition Teams to ensure a smooth transition between outgoing and incoming barangay officials, with a focus on the physical and fiscal accountability of outgoing BARMM barangay and SK officials.
The 63 barangays of the SGA in BARMM are divided into eight area clusters: Pigcawayan, Midsayap I, Midsayap II, Kabacan, Carmen, Pikit I, Pikit II, and Pikit III.
The Bangsamoro region, 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 del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the Special Geographic Area’s (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. (✓)