MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and Bangsamoro Interim Chief Murad Ebrahim agreed to form an intergovernmental relations body for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), paving the way for better coordination between the new Bangsamoro government and national government.
Murad said this was one of the decisions made during his meeting with the President on Wednesday, July 10, in Malacañang.
“We have agreed to immediately compose the IGR (intergovernmental relations body). We have already nominated our own members,” Murad told Rappler on Friday, July 12.
Murad said the BTA is ready to name 7 persons as members of the body while Duterte will name 7 others to represent the national government.
“We will just wait for the Office of the President for their nominees,” he said.
There is no target date yet for the group’s first meeting.
The intergovernmental relations body is one created by the Bangsamoro Organic Law which also created the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA).
The body is supposed to “coordinate and resolve issues on intergovernmental relations through regular consultation and continuing negotiation in a non-adversarial manner,” reads Section 2 of BOL’s Article VI.
The body should “exhaust all means to resolve issues brought before it.” Unresolved issues are to be brought to the president’s attention, through the chief minister.
Duterte had previously called on BTA to “hurry up” with its work and cited a supposed communication “breakdown” between him and its leaders.
Murad presented his 12 Cabinet members or ministers during the meeting and gave Duterte updates on the progress made by the BTA so far.
In the same meeting, Duterte said Murad agreed with his plan to designate Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol as his “point man” for the Bangsamoro region.
It’s not clear if Piñol will have a role in the intergovernmental relations body. Duterte previously said he would name Piñol chief of the Mindanao Development Authority chief. – Rappler.com