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COTABATO CITY — The Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education, led by Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal, has presented a proposed budget of Php30.321 billion to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA)-Committee on Finance, Budget, and Management, Subcommittee C for deliberation.
Chaired by Minister of Parliament (MP) Atty. Jose Lorena, the subcommittee scrutinized the budget at the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority (BPDA) Conference Room, Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC), on November 16, 2023.
Minister Iqbal defended the budget, emphasizing allocations for scholarships, infrastructure, teacher and student welfare, and various educational projects.
The Ministry, one of the 15 primary ministries of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), is responsible for education policies and programs in the Bangsamoro region. Iqbal outlined his ministry’s mandate during the hearing.
He explained that the proposed budget of Php30.231 billion aims to support Personnel Services, Learning Services, including the Madaris Education Services, Infrastructure projects, Scholarship Programs, and other initiatives.
MBHTE Deputy Minister Atty. Haron S. Meling, Assistant Regional Cabinet Secretary Atty. Sittie Mariam Balahim, four Director Generals, all division chiefs and other key figures from the Ministry attended the hearing, contributing to the approval of the proposed budget by Subcommittee C.
The presentation included the Ministry’s accomplishments from Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 & FY 2023, Budget Expenditure justifications for FY 2024 and special development fund programs and projects.
Also in attendance at the hearing was vice-chair MP Amroussi Macatanog, MP Rasul Esmael, MP Abdulkarim Misuari, MP Hatimil Hassan, MP Denmartin Kahalan, MP Nabil Tan, MP Diamila Ramos, and MP Eddie Allih.
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. (✓)