Creation of 32 Bangsamoro districts up for consultations

Creation of 32 Bangsamoro districts up for consultations

Creation of 32 Bangsamoro districts up for consultations

File picture of BARMM regional headquarters

COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao del Norte, Philippines — The interim parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has rolled out public consultations on the proposed delineation of parliamentary districts for purposes of electing 32 of 80 members of the regional legislature.

The creation of the parliamentary districts is contained in Parliament Bill (PB) No. 267, which is a proposal from the BARMM Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim.


Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the BARMM’s charter, 40 percent of parliament seats will be filled by representatives elected from districts throughout the region, half to come from political parties, and 10 percent reserved for sectoral representatives.


This is also reflected in the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, except that it stopped short of delineating the geographic scope of each district.

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The measure is a crucial ingredient in preparing for the first parliamentary elections in 2025, simultaneous with the country’s midterm elections.

Member of parliament Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba, chair of the rules committee, led the consultations that kicked off in Cotabato City on Monday, followed by another session in Midsayap town, Cotabato province for those in the region’s Special Geographic Area (SGA).

Dumama-Alba called on the people and different interest groups to actively participate in the process whether through the consultative meetings or through submission of position papers for consideration by the committee.

Cotabato City appeal

During the consultations in Cotabato City, Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao asked that the city, the current seat of the BARMM, be allocated more parliamentary representatives given that it has over 300,000 residents based on the 2020 census.

The current proposal allocates two seats for Cotabato City, three for Basilan, seven for Sulu, three for Tawi-Tawi, eight for Lanao del Sur, four for Maguindanao del Norte, four for Maguindanao del Sur, and one for the SGA, which has a population of over 200,000.


PB No. 267 defines a parliamentary district as a collection of localities having at least 100,000 people. The 2020 census counted 4.9 million people in the BARMM’s six component provinces and the SGA, which comprises the 63 villages of Cotabato province that joined the autonomous region through the 2019 plebiscite.

Deputy Speaker Omar Yasser Sema explained that they were striving to achieve “equitability of distribution” of the 32 parliamentary seats for district representatives.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Elections has scheduled a plebiscite to ratify the creation of eight new towns in the SGA on April 13, based on an en banc resolution of the poll body, Dumama-Alba said.

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The creation of the eight towns was approved by the parliament last year.

TAGS: Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, BARMM parliamentary districts

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