FAST FACTS: Key positions in the Bangsamoro government

Jodesz Gavilan

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Many of the key government positions in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will be occupied by members of the parliament

PEACE. Supporters of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) gather in Cotabato City to attend the peace assembly. File photo from the Office of Senator Miguel Zubiri

MANILA, Philippines – What happens next now that the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has been deemed ratified.

Official results of the plebiscite showed on Saturday, January 26, that majority of voters from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) approved of the landmark law. The yes votes won in 4 provinces – Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Tawi-Tawi – while Sulu voted against its ratification. (RESULTS: Bangsamoro Plebiscite 2019)

The BOL will create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the culmination of the decades-long negotiations between the government and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). (READ: Now that Bangsamoro law is ratified, what comes next?)

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority will now be created to serve as interim government. The MILF is allotted 41 slots of the 80-member BTA. The rest will comprise of representatives from the women’s sector, the youth, and indigenous people.

Members of the ARMM regional government will also be part of the body on top of the 80 members. They will hold their positions until June 30, 2019.

The BTA will govern the new region until the 2022 elections, when a new set of officials will be elected. After that, the BTA will be dissolved. 

Republic Act Number 11054, the BOL, states the regional government’s structure, and lists the ley positions and the functions of each. 


What are the qualifications of a chief minister? 

  1. A natural-born citizen of the Philippines
  2. At least 25 years old on the day of the elections
  3. A member of the Parliament

How is the chief minister elected? 
The Bangsamoro’s chief minister is elected during the first day of session of the parliament. He or she should get a majority vote of all members.  

What are the chief minister’s functions and powers?

  1. Head and represent the Bangsamoro government in other external affairs
  2. Appoint heads of ministries, agencies, bureaus, and other offices controlled by the Bangsamoro government
  3. Formulate a platform to be approved by the parliament and issue executive orders and policies
  4. Proclaim state of calamity

The chief minister should also be a member of the Mindanao Development Authority and ex-officio member of the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on matters concerning the Bangsamoro.

How long is the term? 
Three years


What are the qualifications of a deputy minister?

  1. A member of the parliament
  2. Should come a Bangsamoro subregion different from the chief minister’s

How are deputy ministers chosen? 
The two Deputy Chief Ministers are nominated by the chief minister and elected by the parliament.  

What are the deputy ministers’ functions and powers? 

  1. Deputy ministers may hold a Cabinet position as appointed by the chief minister
  2. The more senior in age among the two deputy ministers shall act as chief minister when the position is deemed vacant in case of death, permanent physical and mental incapacity, resignation, or removal from office until the parliament elects a new one within 30 days. 

How long is the term of the deputy ministers? 
Three years


What are the qualifications of a member of the parliament? 

  1. At least 25 years old 
  2. Able to read and write 
  3. A registered voter in the Bangsamoro region  

How is the parliament divided? 
The parliament shall be composed of 80 people. These seats are distributed and divided into:

  • 50% party representatives
  • No more than 40% district representatives 
  • At least 10% or no less than 8 reserved and sectoral seats with two seats each guaranteed for non-Moro indigenous peoples and settler communities, and one seat each for women, youth, traditional leaders, and the Ulama 

What are the qualifications of a political party?
The Bangsamoro Electoral Office shall prescribe qualifications that can make an organized group be identified as a political party.

What are the qualifications of a district representative?
Aside from the general qualifications for a parliamentary member, a district representative should be a resident of his or her chosen district for at least one year.  

What are the qualifications of a youth representative?
A youth representative should be at least 18 years old but no order than 30 years old at the time of the election. 

What are the qualifications of a non-Moro IP representative? 
A non-moro IP representative should adhere to 

  • Primary of customary laws
  • Primary of consensus buildings
  • Acceptability to the community
  • Inclusivity and full participation
  • Representation of the collective interests and aspirations of non-Moro IPs
  • Sustainability and strengthening of indigenous political structures
  • Track record and capability
  • Gender equality 

What are the powers of the parliament?

  • Enact laws “to promote, protect, and ensure general welfare” of the Bangsamoro region
  • Call for referendum on important issues
  • Conduct inquiries in aid of legislation
  • Can elect the chief minister, approve the nomination of deputy chief ministers, and hold a Cabinet position subject to appointment  

How long is the term of a parliament member?
The term of a member of the parliament shall last 3 years. He or she cannot serve beyond 3 consecutive terms. 


What are the qualifications of a wali?

  1. A natural-born citizen in the Philippines 
  2. Able to read and write in Filipino, English, and Arabic
  3. At least 40 years old 
  4. Has been a resident of the Bangsamoro region for at least 15 years 
  5. A registered voter in the Bangsamoro region 
  6. Has no prior convictions for any criminal or administrative offense 

What are the functions and powers of a wali? 
A wali will only be able to perform ceremonial duties, including:

  • Opening of the parliament session
  • Administer oath of office 
  • Dissolving the parliament as adviced by the chief minister 
  • Call for election of new parliament
  • Attend public ceremonies 

How is the wali selected? 
The parliament will select a wali from a list of Bangsamoro region residents submitted by the Council of Leaders. 

The first wali will be appointed by the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and will hold office for 3 years. Each succeeding wali will hold the position for 6 years.


What are the qualifications of a member of the Cabinet?

  1. Majority of the members of the chief minister’s Cabinet should come from the parliament
  2. At least one member is a woman
  3. The two deputy chief ministers may hold a position each

How is a Cabinet member chosen? 
The chief minister shall appoint the members of his or her Cabinet


The council of leaders, according to the BOL, “shall advice the chief minister on matters of government in the Bangsamoro region.” 

The council shall include:

  1. Chief minister 
  2. Members of the Congress from the Bangsamoro
  3. Governors and mayors of chartered cities in the Bangsamoro
  4. Representatives of traditional leaders, non-Moro indigenous communities, women, settler communities, the Ulama, youth, and Bangsamoro communities outside the region.
  5. Other sector representatives subject to mechanism laid out by the parliament

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and impunity beats, producing in-depth and investigative reports particularly on the quest for justice of victims of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and war on dissent.