Bangsamoro parliament to resume regular sessions

By Albashir Saiden

June 3, 2020, 8:50 pm

<p>Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao administration building in Cotabato City. <em>(Photo by BPI-BARMM)</em></p>

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao administration building in Cotabato City. (Photo by BPI-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the law-making body of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will resume its regular session starting June 16 after more than two months of hiatus due to the coronavirus disease 20-19 (Covid-19) pandemic.

BTA majority floor leader Lanang Ali Jr. announced Tuesday that the 80-member parliament will open its second regular session for this year as mandated by section 3, article VIII of R.A 11054 otherwise known as Bangsamoro Organic Law.

The first regular session of the BTA ended prior to the start of this year’s fasting month of Ramadan on April 23. Among the priority agenda of the parliament's upcoming sessions is to look into the status of the BARMM on the management of the Covid-19 crisis.

"Among the highlights of the June 16 ceremonial opening is the BARMM chief minister Ahod “Murad’ Ebrahim report on the Covid-19 situation in the region,” Ali said during a meeting with BTA secretary-general Raby Angkal and other officials.

Ali assures minimum health standards such as safe physical distancing, wearing face masks, handwashing, and sanitizing will strictly be implemented during the BTA sessions.

"Members of parliament are to attend and participate ‘voluntarily’ in the session provided they reach a quorum of 41 members present physically or via teleconferencing," Ali said.

Angkal, for his part, said the ceremonial opening of the BTA parliament during Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) will follow the National IATF guidelines on mass gatherings.

"The physical attendance shall not exceed 50 percent of the session hall’s capacity," he said.

The national IATF Resolution No. 40 placed BARMM under MGCQ, where mass gatherings of a maximum of 50 percent of the venue’s total capacity are allowed.

The public and media are strictly not allowed entry within the session hall premises as a live coverage will be provided online, Angkal said. (PNA)