With BOL to take effect soon, ARMM gov turns emotional in Senate hearing
With the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) soon to take effect, Gov. Mujiv Hataman turned emotional on Tuesday when he presented to the Senate what could be the last budget proposal for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The transition from ARMM into Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will be effective once the Commission on Elections (Comelec) holds a plebiscite, which will ratify the latter.
Comelec earlier announced that a plebiscite ratifying the law will be held on January 21, 2019.
“Actually Mr. Chair, officially I am on leave. Kaya lang, nais ko talagang bumalik. Dahil parang ang hirap nun, sa loob ng anim na taon, nagsama tayo rito, hindi man lang ako makapagpaalam ng tama sa inyo,” Hataman said during the hearing of the Senate committee on finance.
(Actually Mr. Chair, officially I am on leave. But I really want to come back. It seems hard that in six years we were together here and I won’t even be able to say goodbye properly to you.)
He was being asked by Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, vice chairperson of the committee, on the legacy that will be left by the ARMM leadership.
“Lalong lalo na kay Senator Ping, lalong lalo na sa budget at sa buong liderato actually ng Senate,” Hataman said. “Tingin ko sa lahat ng budget hearings namin, marami kaming natutunan sa Senado.”
(Especially to Senator Ping, to the budget committee and the whole leadership of the Senate. I think in all of our budget hearings, we learned at lot from the Senate.)
He noted that the ARMM only had an annual budget of P1 billion since he became governor, but it climbed to P10 billion in 2016 with the help of Congress.
“Hindi sa walang dahilan, kundi dahil na-regain ang trust ng national government at klaro ang paglalagyan namin ng mga pondo,” he said while his voice cracked, taking a slight pause.
(It happened not without reason, but because we regained the trust of the national government and the allocation of the funds was made clear.)
The governor said he even asked his staff if they really need to attend the hearing, since they are just waiting for the ratification of the BOL.
He said, however, that their proposed budget could be a guide for the new Bangsamoro region.
The BOL, which will replace the existing ARMM, was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2018. /jpv
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