MANILA - Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has assured a budget allocation for the Bangsamoro plebiscite scheduled for January, the administration's peace adviser said Wednesday.
The Commission on Elections this week told the Senate Finance Committee that it was not provided with P857 million for the plebiscite.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said Arroyo has assured the nation that the budget is "not a problem."
"We'll work on it. It's necessary," he recalled Arroyo telling him.
There was no allocation yet in the National Expenditure Program submitted to Congress because the Bangsamoro Organic Law was not yet passed when the Department of Budget and Management drafted it, Dureza told ANC's Early Edition.
The BOL, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July this year, paves the way for wider self-rule for the Muslim minority in the south.
It is one of the requirements under a 2014 peace agreement between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest Muslim rebel group.
It will install a Bangsamoro political entity in place of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and is envisioned to grant wider self-rule to predominantly Muslim provinces and cities.