MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said January 21 has been declared a holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cotabato City and Isabela City, Basilan due to the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Proclamation 646 declaring Jan. 21 a holiday was signed last Jan. 10.
There are some 2.8 million registered voters in the region included in the plebiscite.
The Commission on Elections expects a 75 percent voters participation in the plebiscite, which will take place on Jan. 21 and Feb. 6.
The BOL, one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between the government and the MILF, seeks to install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the ARMM. It is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Murad Ebrahim said extremist groups in Mindanao might take advantage of the situation if the BOL does not get ratified.