Ad­dress ARMM is­sues first be­fore pass­ing BBL – Min­danao solon

Manila Bulletin - - Mindanao News - By CAMCER ORDONEZ IMAM

CA­GAYAN DE ORO CITY – A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Lanao del Norte is urg­ing the na­tional gov­ern­ment to re­view and ad­dress the is­sues hound­ing the Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in Mus­lim Min­danao (ARMM) first as Congress pre­pares to tackle the pro­posed Bangsamoro Ba­sic Law (BBL) that has been cer­ti­fied as ur­gent leg­is­la­tion by Pres­i­dent Duterte.

Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mo­hamad Khalid Dima­poro said var­i­ous is­sues now hound­ing the Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in Mus­lim Min­danao (ARMM) must be ad­dressed be­fore it could be trans­formed into a new po­lit­i­cal en­tity un­der the BBL.

Prior to the tran­si­tion of ARMM into a Bangsamoro Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion, re­forms in all gov­ern­ment branches and units in the area must be in­tro­duced first, said Dima­poro, al­though Lanao del Norte is not part of the ARMM.

“This is why the peo­ple of ARMM clamor for change. It is dif­fi­cult to get the na­tional lead­er­ship to sym­pa­thize with the needs of the re­gional gov­ern­ment,” he said in a state­ment on Mon­day, Nov. 13.

Dima­poro cited the P8 bil­lion worth of de­vel­op­ment funds, which was taken out of the ARMM bud­get and was trans­ferred to the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) when Sen. Pan­filo Lac­son ques­tioned it. It was later con­verted to fund the Com­mis­sion on Higher Ed­u­ca­tion’s free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

“If the good sen­a­tor (Lac­son) had a prob­lem with the trans­fer of funds by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, why did they not just re­turn it to the ARMM? Es­pe­cially since it is a re­gion wrought with poverty and in need of de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

Dima­poro said there is no rea­son for the na­tional gov­ern­ment to give ARMM its share of the pie since the new re­gional lead­er­ship, un­der Gov. Mu­jiv Hata­man, has made sig­nif­i­cant changes in gov­ern­ing the re­gion.

“What the Hata­man ad­min­is­tra­tion showed me is that gov­ern­ment in ARMM can work. But the crit­i­cal in­gre­di­ents for true change to hap­pen in Mus­lim Min­danao is the fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment by the na­tional gov­ern­ment to fund key so­cio-eco­nomic pro­grams and good lead­ers who are will­ing to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize pub­lic ser­vice,” he said.

“If there is a high in­ci­dence of poverty and a cul­ture of cor­rup­tion then there ex­ists a so­cio-eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment that is the breed­ing ground for in­ter­nal se­cu­rity threats such as in­sur­gents and ter­ror­ism,” Dima­poro added.

Dima­poro said ARMM’s growth is a mir­ror to counter-mea­sure the ex­trem­ist move­ment and vi­o­lence per­pe­trated by some armed groups in the re­gion.

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