EU SUPPORT. Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim (center) receives the symbolic key to the mini buses from the European Union (EU) envoy Luc Veron (4th left) as Defense chief Carlito Galvez (3rd right), BARMM and EU delegates look on. The donation formed part of the EU’s Support to Bangsamoro Transition (Subatra) program. (Photos courtesy of BTA-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The European Union ambassador to the Philippines has urged the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to intensify consultations across the region in crafting the draft Bangsamoro governance and electoral codes.

EU Ambassador Luc Veron issued the call Monday as the EU, through the Support to Bangsamoro Transition (Subatra) program, donated two mini buses and light emitting diode  movable display wall to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) to help it in consultations with sectors across the BARMM.

“We witnessed the BTA is working hard in fast-tracking the passage of two vital and priority codes – electoral code and local governance code,” Veron said in his speech.  

“These codes are important pieces of legislation that will ensure political stability in BARMM in the years to come and further promote peace and development,” he added.

Through the Subatra, Veron said the EU seeks to help the BTA parliament ensure inclusive participation through "open, transparent, and extensive public consultations so that all voices from various groups are heard."

Veron hoped for the active participation from various groups, especially the marginalized and vulnerable groups among Muslims, non-Muslims and Indigenous Peoples like women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Launched last year, the Subatra is a five-year PHP1.5-billion program funded by the EU, and co-financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, through an agreement with the Philippine government.

Subatra contributed to a smooth and timely undertaking of the transition through capacity building of the three branches of the Bangsamoro Government and civil society organizations.

Meanwhile, BARMM Chief Minister Ebrahim was elated with the presence of Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. at the event, acknowledging the latter’s unending contributions to peace in Mindanao.

Galvez, in his speech, said he remains the Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity while heading the DND.

“Peace process will always be in my heart and I promise to you, chief minister and all the members of the parliament, that all of my remaining life will be dedicated to achieving peace in the Bangsamoro,” he said. (PNA)