President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday pledged his full support to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as he recognized the important work that the interim government needs to complete in three years.
Speaking before the newly sworn-in members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), Marcos acknowledged the “great deal of work” that the body should accomplish in three years, from the enactment of basic laws and fiscal policy to the conduct of elections.
“Such important laws to be passed in three years is not an easy task, and that’s why I will be here as head of the national government to support BARMM,” he said in his speech as he administered the oath of office of the BTA members in a ceremony in Malacañang.
During his speech, the President mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic made it “very, very difficult” for the BTA to do its work.
“We are given another chance because of the extension of the Transition Authority. We are given another chance, but we have three years, and three years is not a long time for this rather basic and fundamental and highly important pieces of legislation that have to be produced now by the Transition Authority,” he said.
He further underscored the need to complete the work in 2025 as there will no longer be any extensions.
“In 2025, we no longer will have any extensions to the authority, and we will conduct elections,” he said.
Republic Act No. 11593 reset the first regular elections in BARMM and would now be synchronized with the 2025 national elections.
The law also extended the transition period and allowed the BTA to continue as the interim government in the region.
It also mandated the President to appoint 80 new members who shall serve up to June 2025.
Meanwhile, the chief executive underscored the importance of representation in the BTA.
“It is important that we’re going to give a voice to all the stakeholders, to all the parties that are involved,” he said.
The President also conveyed his confidence to the new appointees.
“But I’m confident because I have seen the list of the new appointees, the new members, and I believe that everyone has come on to be part of this process with a sincere desire to get BARMM back into the normal fold of life in the Philippines,” he said. | PND