Zubiri releases highlights of Bangsamoro Organic Law
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday released the highlights of the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) or the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
On Wednesday night, the bicameral conference committee approved the reconciled version of the proposed measure that will create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to ratify the measure on Monday in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address.
INQUIRER.net is publishing the highlights and features of the organic law released by Zubiri:
The ARMM area (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao), 6 towns in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato. The 6 towns and 39 Barangays will vote in a one-time plebiscite to determine if majority of its peoples want to belong to the Bangsamoro. However, majority of voters in the mother units of these should also vote in favor of joining the Bangsamoro for these to be part of the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The 6 municipalities are Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan, and Tangkal in the Province of Lanao del Norte.
The 39 barangays are located in Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigkawayan, and Pikit in the Province of North Cotabato, as follows:
i. Dunguan, Lower Mingading, and Tapodoc in the Municipality of Aleosan (3);
ii. Manarapan and Nasapian in the Municipality of Carmen (2);
iii. Nanga-an, Simbuhay, and Sanggadong in the Municipality of Kabacan (3);
iv. Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kapinpilan, Kudarangan, Central Labas, Malingao, Mudseng, Nabalawag, Olandang, Sambulawan, and Tugal in the Municipality of Midsayap (12);
v. Lower Baguer, Balacayon, Buricain, Datu Binasing, Kadingilan, Matilac, Patot, and Lower Pangangkalan in the Municipality of Pigkawayan (8);
vi. Bagoinged, Balatican, S. Balong, S. Balongis, Batulawan, Buliok, Gokotan, Kabasalan, Lagunde, Macabual, and Macasendeg, in the Municipality of Pikit (11); Cotabato City and Isabela City.
The preservation and management of all inland waters is with the Bangsamoro. However, when the inland waters are utilized for energy in areas outside of the Bangsamoro, there will be cooperation between the Bangsamoro and the DoE, as primary agency on energy.
Municipal and Regional waters:
Municipal waters extend to 15 kms. from the low-water mark while regional waters extend up to 19 kms. from the low-water mark, which is above that of regular municipal waters that extend only up to 15 kms.
Powers of government and responsibilities of leaders:
Grouping government powers according to exclusive (to the Bangsmoro), shared (between National and Bangsamoro Governments) and reserved powers (National Government only) has been discarded. Instead, the Bicam listed the powers that are being granted to the Bangsamoro government.
The Intergovernmental Mechanism:
This consist of various coordinative bodies, as follows: Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum; Fiscal Policy Board; Joint Body for Zones of Joint Cooperation; Infrastructure Development Board; Energy Board; and Sustainable Development Board.
The highest organ of government is the Bangsamoro Parliament headed by a Chief Minister elected by 80 members or representatives, of which at least half (or 40) are party representatives. The other half shall be divided into district representatives and sectoral representatives. Seats are also reserved for members of the Non-Muslim indigenous peoples as Teduray, Lambangian, Dulangan Manobo, B’Laan and Higaonon.
Conflict of interest:
Provisions will be patterned after the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Members of the Parliament will be banned from engaging in profession or engaging in activities that could result to conflict of interest.
Teachers in the Madaris schools are treated as personnel in special technical positions for which the Civil Service Commission shall set standards for their qualification and appointment. As it strengthens the Mindanao State University system, the Bangsamoro government shall also establish a Tribal University System. Similarly, the Madaris Educational system, Islamic and Arabic Studies will be established, maintained and supervised by the DepEd, CHED, Tesda and the Bangsamoro Government.
Measures were provided to ensure every Bangsamoro people and inhabitant access to basic services, and, protection to labor, children, youth, women and settler communities. At least one woman shall be appointed as a Cabinet member.
Judges in the Shari’ah courts shall be required to be Regular members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Non-IBP judges in Shari’ah district and appellate courts are granted a period to be qualified.
Defense and security:
Defense and security of the Bangsamoro is the responsibility of the National Government.
Members of the MNLF and MILF shall be admitted to the Philippine National Police. Age, height and educational attainment qualifications may be waived and can be availed of within 5 years after the ratification of the BOL. Recruits from the MNLF and MILF have up to 15 years after their entry to fulfil the educational attainment requirement.
Wide latitude in taxation power has been granted to the Bangsamoro at 75% (to Bangsamoro) and 25% (to National government) sharing for national taxes collected in the Bangsamoro territorial jurisdiction.
5% of the net national internal revenue tax collection of the BIR and the BOC from the third fiscal year immediately preceding the current fiscal year. The block grant shall be appropriated and released immediately. The Block Grant formula shall be reviewed 5 years after the effectivity of the BOL and every five years thereafter.
The Intergovernmental Fiscal Policy Board shall provide for the sharing of the National government and the Bangsamoro in the income of GOCCs in Bangsamoro. Meanwhile, revenues from the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources, including mines and minerals shall be granted fully to the Bangsamoro. As to fossil fuels and uranium, the revenues shall be shared equally.
Rehabilitation and development:
The livelihood and other needs of members of the MILF/Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Force, the MNLF/Bangsamoro Armed Force, and, their women’s auxiliary forces shall be addressed by rehabilitation, reconstruction and development packages as part of the normalization process.
A Special Development Fund shall be provided by the National government for conflict-affected communities. The 10-year fund is P50 Billion. P5 Billion shall be released annually, for 10 years, starting upon the ratification of the BOL.
A plebiscite shall be held not earlier than 90 days and no later than 150 days after the effectivity of the BOL.
Bangsamoro Transition Authority:
The BTA shall be composed of 80 members appointed by the President. The elected officials of the Regional Government shall be part of the BTA. Likewise, the non-Moro indigenous communities, youth, women, settler communities, traditional leaders, and other sectors shall have representatives in the BTA.
Personnel in the education, health and social welfare offices shall be retained during the period of transition. /ee
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