House OKs bill postponing first BARMM regular polls
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives approved on final reading the measure seeking to postpone the first regular elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and rescheduling it in 2025.
During Wednesday’s session, the lower chamber approved House Bill No. 10121 which amends Republic Act No. 1104 or the “Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao” with 187 affirmative votes, no negative, and no abstention.
Under the measure, the first regular election for the Bangsamoro Government shall be held synchronized with the 2025 national elections. The Bangsamoro elections was originally scheduled in 2022.
According to the bill, the postponement seeks to give BARMM time to “strengthen its foundations for a stronger regional government and economy.”
The postponement, the bill states, will also allow the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to “lay better and sturdier foundations and successfully translate the efforts on the gains from the peace agreement into lasting and sustainable peace not only in Mindanao but for the whole Philippines.”
Following the approval of the measure, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco lamented how the COVID-19 pandemic “exacerbated an already delayed transition period of the BARMM.”
Velasco said that the transition process is exceedingly nuanced and requires full and undivided attention of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.
“With the impending postponement of its elections from 2022 to 2025, we will be able to provide the BARMM a more stable foundation in establishing itself as a truly autonomous region.
A counterpart measure has been approved on third and final reading in the Senate.
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