Progress in BARMM Development Efforts – Budget Chief

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. Photo from DBM
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Progress is being made in the development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), according to Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. In a statement, Pangandaman expressed confidence in the future of Mindanao, stating that as long as they stay focused, their dreams for the economic transformation and upliftment of the region will be fulfilled.

Pangandaman, along with the leaders in BARMM, has been working tirelessly to maintain peace in Mindanao while simultaneously developing the region into a land of prosperity. As the co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB), Pangandaman has successfully initiated all seven initiatives of the IGRB within a year. This includes the inaugural Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum, which aims to foster dialogue and cooperation between the national government and the BARMM.

Furthermore, significant steps have been taken to establish key institutions in BARMM. Pangandaman highlighted the establishment of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) regional/satellite office in BARMM, as well as the recognition of the Bangsamoro Land Transportation Office (BLTO). These institutions play a crucial role in ensuring the efficient regulation and operation of various professional and transportation services in the region.

To commemorate the establishment of Islam in the Philippines and emphasize the importance of Muslim heritage in Philippine history, Pangandaman mentioned the ongoing celebrations and recognition of this significant event.

In terms of financial support, budget officials have proposed a comprehensive financial package of P80.6 billion for 2024 to further advance peace and development efforts in the Bangsamoro region. This package includes the P70.5 billion Annual Block Grant for BARMM, which provides a significant allocation to support the region’s ongoing initiatives. Additionally, P5.0 billion has been allocated for the Special Development Fund (SDF), and P5.1 billion from BARMM’s portions of national taxes, fees, and charges.

The budget plan is outlined in Republic Act 11054, also known as the Organic Law for BARMM. This law serves as the framework for the governance and development of the autonomous region, ensuring that the region receives the necessary support and resources for its progress.

One of the key initiatives under the financial package is the comprehensive rollout of the Pamana (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn) Program. This program focuses on upgrading infrastructure in conflict-affected and susceptible regions, including BARMM. With an allocation of P5.3 billion, the program aims to improve social infrastructure amenities, such as roads, bridges, water supply systems, safe evacuation centers, fishing ports, and flood control systems. These infrastructure developments will not only enhance the quality of life for the people in BARMM but also contribute to the overall economic growth of the region.

Additionally, the Budget department has allocated P1.0 billion for the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Program. This program aims to provide financial assistance and support to the victims affected by the Marawi Siege, ensuring that they are able to rebuild their lives and communities.

Overall, significant progress has been made in the development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. With the support of the national government, BARMM leaders, and various initiatives and programs, the region is on its way to achieving economic transformation and upliftment. The allocated budget for 2024 will further strengthen these efforts, ensuring a brighter future for the people of Mindanao.

Source: The Manila Times

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