Duterte taps Cabinet to help set up Bangsamoro gov't


Posted at Sep 18 2019 12:25 AM

MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he formed a committee consisting of members of the Cabinet who will help the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in setting up its new government.

"I formed a committee of just a few members of the Cabinet to assist them in building the structure of a BARMM government," he told reporters following the oath-taking of newly appointed government officials at the Malacañang Palace.

BARMM is the region created in Mindanao out of the peace agreement between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is seen as key to ending the decades-long rebellion in the restive south.

In his meeting with officials of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Tuesday, the president said they discussed about the immediate release of the Bangsamoro region's budget.

"Just like any government office, you have to have money to buy supplies, to pay the employees and everything... At pangalawa, ‘yung additional officials for liaisoning," he said.

Under the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020, BARMM will be given 70.6 billion to spur development in the region.

Of the amount, P63.6 billion represents as block grant, P5 billion for the special development fund, and P2 billion for BARMM's share in national taxes.

The BTA, the 3-year transition government of the Bangsamoro region, is composed of 41 representatives from the MILF and 39 from the government.

MILF chairman Ahod Al Haj Murad Ebrahim heads the BTA as interim chief minister.