A network of 250 faith-based and civil society groups has expressed support for the passage of a law that will extend the transition period of the new Muslim region in the southern Philippines.
The Partnership Mission for People’s Initiatives (PMPI) said the proposed extension of the transition period will give the government “adequate time” to generate and properly allocate resources.
The transition from the old autonomous Muslim government to a new one will end next year.
In recent months, several sectors have called for the extension of the transition deadline of the newly-created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, from 2022 to 2025.
The creation of the Bangsamoro region is the key component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the final peace deal signed by the government and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front in 2014.
In 2019, BARMM was created following the ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the BARMM, more popularly called the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
The MILF-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority, whose mandate will end on June 30, 2022, governs the region.
In November last year, the transition body passed a resolution urging Congress to extend the Bangsamoro transition period from 2022 to 2025.
In its statement, PMPI said the extension will “further provide the Bangsamoro government sufficient time to put in place mechanisms and institutional reforms” to build a strong regional Bangsamoro government and a stable economy
The group appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and to Congress to certify pending bills in both Houses of Congress to amend Republic Act 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, as urgent.
“We humbly ask our esteemed legislators of the House of the Representatives and the Senate to listen to the collective voice of the Bangsamoro people.
PMPI also urged the national government “to fast-track its deliverables and carry-out its promises, duties and obligations” to ensure the success of the transition.