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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Poverty alleviation, political reforms are top priorities under the BARMM set-up

Better opportunities seen for future BARMM leaders

MANILA – The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) is in the process of introducing new measures to ensure a wider base for future leaders aside from those coming from the traditional and political clans.

This was how Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib B. Sinarimbo explained appropriate courses being discussed to enhance wider democratic space.

“We are looking into the improvement of qualifications for elective officials as there are measures to prevent the proliferation of political dynasties,” he said in an exclusive interview early Thursday evening.

He explained political clans have lead the Bangsamoro region and development programs failed to lift more people out of poverty. One of the youngest cabinet members of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Atty. Sinarimbo said political clans have lorded over the region and miserably failed to develop the region and the people’s full potential.

Asked of his reaction to the most recent World Bank report entitled Undernutrition in the Philippines: Scale, Scope, and Opportunities for Nutrition Policy and Programming, released last Tuesday, June 15 which said 58% of BARMM households cannot afford to buy nutritious food requirements, Sinarimbo who also acts as BARMM Spokesperson said there are programs to address widespread poverty with important thrusts for people from the vulnerable sectors, especially those displaced by both natural and man-made calamities.

“There are instances where poverty is linked to displacement, undernutrition and health. We are also into health preventive measures alongside improvement of health facilities. We go to the grassroots,” he added.

He expressed hope the House of Representatives would have the time to debate and discuss the salient provisions of the extension of the BTA’s term. The Philippine Senate has already discussed the merits of the term extension.

“Based on our calculations, there would still be time to pass the amendatory law that would reset the elections from 2022 to 2025,” he said.

Speaking of possible investments in the BARMM, Minister Sinarimbo said the discussions with the BARMM officials and Qatar has advanced where they expressed interest in energy projects in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

“There are also negotiations between the BARMM and the government of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Development Bank where the latter’s representatives cannot travel to the Philippines due to tight quarantine protocols,” he added. (Melo M. Acuña)

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