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COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is marking its fifth year with its transitional government reflecting on the region’s progress since 2019.
BARMM Interim Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim banged a ceremonial gong on Sunday, January 21, signaling the start of the weeklong celebration of the 5th founding anniversary of the special autonomous region at the Bangsamoro Government Center grounds in Cotabato City. He also led the ceremonial lights switch-on at the regional center.
This took place after a parade participated in by the regional and Cotabato City government workers in Cotabato City. The parade started from Governor Gutierrez Avenue and proceeded to the Bangsamoro Government Center, just outside and in front of the government complex compound.
In his anniversary message, Ebrahim emphasized the importance of fostering mutual understanding, peaceful coexistence, and envisioning a shared future in the Bangsamoro.
“Let this day serve as a reminder to all of us that the path to peace and autonomy demanded several decades of persistent struggle and sacrifices, especially of the Bangsamoro mujahideen and those who devoted themselves to ensuring the necessary conditions for enduring peace and socio-economic development in the Autonomous Region,” Ebrahim said.
Ebrahim said BARMM is celebrating five years of vibrant progress and unity, and laying the foundation for a brighter future for the Bangsamoro homeland.
This year’s BARMM celebration centers on the theme, “A journey towards mutual understanding, peaceful coexistence, and a shared future in the Bangsamoro.”
From January 21 to 26, a series of anniversary activities have been organized by different BARMM ministries for the weeklong celebration, which includes free legal assistance and medical outreaches, tree plantings, and clean-up activities, among others.
The BARMM is the lone region in the country with a regional government, and it adopts a parliamentary form at that.
The special region was created after a plebiscite on January 21, 2019. This was followed by a turnover, replacing the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on February 26, 2019.
Ebrahim served as the first leader of the BARMM, and he will be serving as the region’s interim chief minister until 2025, the year the predominantly Bangsamoro territory holds its first regional elections.
During the region’s first five years, the Embrahim-led Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) has already passed important pieces of legislation, including BARMM’s administrative, civil service, education, electoral, and local governance codes.
Still pending in its fifth year are the revenue and indigenous peoples’ rights codes.
This year alone, BARMM has a budget of P98.4 billion from a block grant that has been incorporated in its Bangsamoro Expenditure Program (BEP). – Rappler.com