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BTA targets Bangsamoro gov’t codes by end of 2019

Pia Ranada
BTA targets Bangsamoro gov’t codes by end of 2019
The Bangsamoro Interim Cabinet will draft the codes and submit them to the Parliament for deliberation in early October

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) aims to finalize 8 government codes by the end of 2019 so that they can be implemented starting 2020, when the Bangsamoro region gets its first block grant.

Minister for Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo, who is also BTA spokesman, said December 2019 is the deadline for the BTA, sitting as Parliament, to finish deliberating on draft codes that will come from the Interim Cabinet.

“The directive form the Chief Minister (Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim) is to complete it (codes) by end of September so that he can file it before the Parliament in early October,” said Sinarimbo on Thursday, August 8, during a Rappler Talk interview.

“They (Parliament) have until December of this year to deliberate and then approve. The implementation should happen in 2020, in time for the new budget, new structure of the new government,” he added.

Specific Cabinet members or groups of Cabinet members are assigned to make specific codes. (READ: Who’s who in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority)

There are 8 codes which the Bangsamoro Organic Law requires the BTA to craft during its 3-year existence.

These are:

  • Bangsamoro Administrative Code
  • Bangsamoro Revenue Code
  • Bangsamoro Electoral Code
  • Bangsamoro Local Government Code
  • Bangsamoro Education Code
  • Bangsamoro Civil Service Code
  • Law protecting rights and welfare of indigenous peoples
  • Law organizing the bureaucracy of the Bangsamoro government

Sinarimbo explained why Murad decided that the Cabinet instead of the BTA, sitting as Parliament, would draft the codes from scratch.

Previously, ad hoc committees had been formed in Parliament for each code but this was eventually dissolved.

Sinarimbo gave assurances that the finalization of the codes would still “involve the whole of Parliament.”

“But the initiatory process of doing the public consultation, doing the policy studies, drafting it will orginate from the Cabinet and then, from the Cabinet, it will be tabled as a Cabinet proposal by the Chief Minister in the Parliament, in which case it will have certainty of being passed because it is backed by the majority of members of the Parliament,” he said.

Sinarimbo, as interior minister, is in charge of crafting the Local Government Code.

For this, he has funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where had once served as senior advisor for political transition.

In crafting the code, Sinarimbo said he and other lawyers looked at provisions in the national government’s Local Government Code and that of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“We are looking for areas of improvement like discipline authority over local government units and how it works, integration of different levels of plans fro the lowest levels of the LGU (local government unit) to the highest,” he said.

The Interim Cabinet meets every Monday while the Parliament meets on Mondays to Wednesdays every 3rd and 4th week of the month. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at