MANILA (UPDATE) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has chosen the new members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) who will serve until 2025, it announced on Friday.
The interim regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) consists of 80 members, 41 of whom came from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) while 39 came from the Philippine government, according to a Bangsamoro government statement.
Ahod Balawag Ebrahim remained as BTA's interim chief minister, the Bangsamoro government said.
BTA also has representatives from the following provinces and sectors:
- Lanao del Sur
- Lanao del Norte
- North Cotabato
- indigenous peoples who are not Moro
- Kalagan or Kagan community in Davao Oriental
- Christian or settler communities in Davao City and Cotabato City
Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez told Palace reporters Marcos led the oath taking earlier in the day. An Instagram story of Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Sandro Marcos also showed a sneak peek of the event in Malacañang.
The oath taking was witnessed by Gustavo Gonzales, the United Nations' resident coordinator, Rodriguez noted.
"The majority of their workforce is comprised of lawyers, lawyer-certified public accountants, engineers, teachers, doctors, architects, media practitioners, politicians, former elected officials at the local levels, and government bureaucrats," the statement read.
"The composition of the 41 MILF members is a product of a consultative process carried out by MILF through an internal review and vetting process," it added.
MARCOS URGES BTA TO PASS LEGISLATIONS
During his speech, Marcos urged the officials to pass several measures as he stressed that there would no longer be another extension in 2025.
Among legislations he wanted to pass are the Electoral Code, Local Government Code, and other fiscal policies before the scheduled 2025 elections there.
"Such important laws to be passed in three years is not an easy task, and that's why I will be here as head of the national government to support BARMM," said Marcos.
"We are given another chance because of the extension of the Transition Authority. We are given another chance, but we have three years, and three years is not a long time for this rather basic and fundamental and highly important pieces of legislation that have to be produced now by the Transition Authority," he added.
The President stressed his support to the Bangsamoro government as they wait for the elections.
"I will be here as a as head of the national government to support BARMM in any way to get that settled and to make sure that we have an orderly and proper election in 2025, and upon electing our new officials that they have a framework a legal framework to work within so that the government can actually function."
The BTA is mandated to address peace and security concerns, social problems, boost economic activity, and keep the stability "between ethnic clans and economic classes" in the region.
BARMM's transition period was extended for another 3 years after former President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11593 on October 28, 2021.
The law rescheduled the regional parliamentary elections in BARMM to 2025.