LOCAL CODE PREPARATION. Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim (left) listens as BARMM Ministry of the Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo (right) speaks during the opening session for the drafting of the Bangsamoro local government code in Cotabato City on Monday (July 15, 2019). (Photo courtesy of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party)

COTABATO CITY – The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MILG-BARMM) began drafting on Monday a priority legislation entrusted to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) -- the Bangsamoro Local Government Code.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim said the code is one of the important legislations to be passed by the BTA as it will clearly define the relationship between the local government units and the Bangsamoro government.

"The only way to realize the aspiration of the decades-struggle of the Bangsamoro people is to be able to achieve the changes we want in the governance," Ebrahim said in his statement, during the opening program at EM Manor hotel here.

MILG–BARMM Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said the code -- expected to be enacted in 2022 -- will also outline and define the mandate of the Bangsamoro government in its relation with the different local government units.

"Let us attempt to create a system that will allow us, for the first time, not just in the region but in the country to integrate service delivery and programming to the different LGUs," he said.

Ebrahim also recognized the importance of LGUs as they are the "real face of governance", to which constituents can easily relay their concerns.

The chief minister has already issued a memorandum directing BARMM agencies to align their plans, projects, and programs to the 12-point agenda of the Bangsamoro government.

The 12-point agenda of the BARMM published by the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority are the enactment of priority bills; integration of development plans; establishment of appropriate bureaucracy; continuity of existing government services; special programs for transitioning combatants; support for the on-going Marawi rehabilitation; development of enabling policy environment; activation of job-generating industries; enhancement of security; maximizing synergistic partnerships; ensure environmental compliance; and exploration of the Bangsamoro economic potentials.  (PNA)