In a speech at the 17th Meeting of the National Government-Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB), President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. emphasized the importance of a stronger Mindanao for a stronger Philippines. He urged the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to remain steadfast in their commitment to the democratic process and not allow external forces to derail their dreams and aspirations.
President Marcos acknowledged the significance of the Bangsamoro peace process and reiterated his administration’s support for it. He emphasized that a “Bagong Pilipinas” or New Philippines would be incomplete without the inclusion of a rising Bangsamoro. He highlighted the interconnectedness of a stronger BARMM, a stronger Mindanao, and ultimately, a stronger Philippines, as they work towards achieving their shared agendas.
The President emphasized the importance of peace and development, stating, “To us, there is only one true peace when the bloody tally of war is replaced with the scoreboard of development. And that scoreboard shows that peace has won and the war is over.” He called for the region’s first parliament elections to be peaceful and credible, urging BARMM leaders to ensure that no voter is disenfranchised due to violence, intimidation, or bribery.
President Marcos commended BARMM’s accomplishments, including the passage of key codes such as the Bangsamoro Administrative Code, the Bangsamoro Civil Service Code, the Bangsamoro Education Code, the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, and the Bangsamoro Local Governance Code. He also highlighted the success of the Bangsamoro Board of Investments in attracting investments worth P3.3 billion, which will create job opportunities for 1,927 workers.
In terms of international partnerships, the President mentioned the government’s collaboration with Japan for road improvement and disaster response operations in BARMM. Additionally, guidelines for the joint award of Petroleum Service Contracts and Coal Operating Contracts were signed, further enhancing BARMM’s potential for economic growth and development.
President Marcos emphasized that peace is not just the absence of conflict but also the presence of tangible progress. He stated, “Peace to our people is found in jobs created, schools opened, farms irrigated, new hospitals opened, roads constructed, businesses launched.” This underscores the government’s commitment to not only achieving peace but also ensuring inclusive economic growth for BARMM.
The meeting of the National Government-Bangsamoro Government IGRB signifies the shared commitment to peace and progress. Established in 2019 under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the IGRB addresses intergovernmental conflicts, fiscal policy, and resource allocation to support BARMM’s governance and development. It serves as a platform for regular consultation and negotiation between the national government and BARMM to resolve intergovernmental issues.
Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, co-chairman of the IGRB, expressed gratitude to President Marcos for his unwavering support towards BARMM’s development agenda. She acknowledged his commitment to the peace process and achieving inclusive economic growth for the region. As a proud Muslim and member of the esteemed body, she commended the efforts in developing BARMM under the “Bagong Pilipinas” vision.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for a stronger Mindanao and a peaceful democratic process in BARMM highlights the government’s commitment to peace, progress, and inclusive development. By emphasizing the importance of a united Philippines, he encourages BARMM leaders to remain vigilant against external forces that may attempt to disrupt their democratic aspirations. Through collaboration and continued support, the path towards a stronger Philippines becomes clearer, with BARMM playing a vital role in its future.
Source: The Manila Times