Headwinds seen in BARMM
BARMM leadership in a challenging transition period
MANILA – While President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to continuously support the development of the Bangsamoro region against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the top leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are up to strong headwinds to meet the people’s expectations.
In a virtual press conference by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Friday afternoon, Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim said when the BARMM set-up began two years ago, he said they inherited what is left of the ARMM budget which have already been programmed which they cannot divert to other projects.
“First, let me explain we are still at a transition period which means the critical period wherein we have to set up a new system of government, formulate laws and policies and at least have a veery functional bureaucracy,” he said. He admitted what makes it more challenging is the fact they are establishing a different structure from the national government.
Chief Minister Ebrahim said they are establishing a parliamentary ministerial form of government within a presidential unitary system of government.
“So it is more challenging for us, for this transition period, we tried our best for more than one year to put in place the bureaucracy and system of government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he explained.
He explained it was only last year when they began using their own budget in implementing their Bangsamoro Development Plan.
Asked if they have received assistance from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other members of the international community, Minister Ebrahim said they have not received any.
“There is a provision in the Comprehensive Agreement that a normalization trust fund will be established where the national government and the international community to share and contribute to the trust fund which will be solely dedicated to the normalization track,” he explained.
Funds for setting up the government will come from the grant and special development fund of the national government. (Melo M. Acuña)