President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Screengrab from RTVM)

COTABATO CITY – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday urged all leaders of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to work together for the attainment of peace and progress in the region.

Marcos, guest of honor during the inaugural session of the 2nd Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), also called on the regional lawmakers to pass essential legislation on fiscal policy, particularly taxation.

“I urge you to pass all the crucial legislations on fiscal policy, particularly taxation and to facilitate the conduct of elections in the BARMM in 2025,” he said.

The President said his administration would catch up with the delays in providing the necessary finances for the BARMM, which was halted by the pandemic in the past two years.

“With unity and solidarity, the BTA will be successful in facilitating the institution of Bangsamoro governance, one that is centered on promoting good governance and lasting peace and its people,” he said.

Marcos said the path to lasting peace "is always under construction."

He vowed to provide the needed fiscal requirements for BARMM.

“The national government, through the DBM (Department of Budget and Management), has allocated PHP74.4 billion for the Bangsamoro region fiscal year 2023,” he said.

“I also encourage the BTA to pass measures that will secure the welfare of the Moro people, particularly in agri-fishery, health care, transportation, communication, digital infrastructure, and e-governance.”

Marcos also conveyed to BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim his administration’s support for the BARMM and the Mindanao peace process.

Also in attendance during the BTA’s inaugural session was Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari who was seated beside the President.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez, and Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos were also present. (PNA)