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BARMM has begun public consultations on a proposed code of municipal governance.

On the draft Bangsamoro Local Governance Code, the legislative body of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has begun consultations with local officials and other stakeholders (BLGC).

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) held simultaneous meetings here and in Marawi City on Wednesday, the first of a series.

The public consultations with local officials in Lanao del Sur were led by BTA Member of Parliament (MP) Jose Lorena, while the conversations were presided over by MPs Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. and Laisa Masuhud Alamia.

The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG), in collaboration with Australian Aid and Notre Dame University Graduate School, hosted a round-table debate in Cotabato City at Pagana Restaurant.

BTA Bill No. 58 was up for debate (An Act Providing for the Bangsamoro Local Government Code).

Representatives from the religious sector, Indigenous Peoples, non-Moro settlers, academe, and the business sector were among those in attendance, in addition to local leaders.

The BTA organized a consultation in Marawi City at the provincial headquarters of Lanao del Sur, where it gathered comments, position papers, and legislative suggestions.

Lorena stated, “The BLGC will provide a clear direction between local government units and the Bangsamoro government.”

The code attempts to increase the Bangsamoro government’s supervisory power via the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG).

Lorena went on to say that this would prevent the MILG and the Department of the Interior and Local Government from having to supervise each other twice.

The draft Bangsamoro code uses the term “governance” instead of “government” to emphasize citizen participation.

“Governance also means inclusion rather than exclusivity, association rather than isolation, and accommodation rather than marginalization,” Lorena added.

Similar consultations will be held in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, as well as in 63 villages in North Cotabato that are now part of BARMM, according to him.

Over the past two years, BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong said the BTA has completed most of its objectives, including the passage of three priority codes specified by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

The BTA is required under the BOL to enact priority legislative initiatives during the transition period.

The administrative code, revenue code, electoral code, local government code, education code, civil service code, and Indigenous Peoples’ code are among the priority pieces of legislation.

The BTA has passed administrative, civil service, and educational codes for the region so far.

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