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BANGSAMORO SPEAKS: No to division of Datu Odin Sinsuat into three towns

bangsamoro speaks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 June) — As a former Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission that drafted the Bangsamoro Basic Law, former Member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, and now a concerned resident of the muncipality, I strongly oppose the Bangsamoro Parliament Bill 190 and 191 dividing the municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao Del Norte Province into three municipalities. I believe that proposed bill will cause more DIVISION, DISUNITY, and HARM than good to the constituents of the affected area. 

Here are the reasons why:

1. WE ARE STILL IN A PERIOD OF TRANSITION Following the Political Track of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro

The period of transition is defined to follow the political track of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro. The bill goes beyond the mandate that was supposed to be exercised by the regular parliament. Moreover, the bills will lead to divisiveness to accommodate political interests which is not in line in keeping with the spirit of unity and inclusivity of our dream in the Bangsamoro.

2. The BTA Parliament should help in peace building mechanisms in line with the decommissioning and normalization track 

The normalization process is a crucial component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) signed by the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The parliament’s involvement in the process will help ensure that these commitments are met.

The Bangsamoro parliament’s involvement in the decommissioning and normalization track is crucial to ensuring the success of the Bangsamoro government, promoting peace and reconciliation, and enhancing security in the region.

3. Need to Enact Priority Codes for the Bangsamoro Transition Authority

The Bangsamoro Transition Authority needs to enact the priority codes for the Bangsamoro. However, dividing the municipality into three will only make the task more challenging. The proposed deviation may cause confusion and could delay the enactment of vital codes needed to ensure the progress and growth of the region.

4. Disadvantages of Having Many Smaller Municipalities

Having many smaller municipalities can cause limitations of funds in terms of resources allocation and governance by the legal authorities. Smaller municipalities could increase the demand for laws and regulations, distribution of funds, and facility construction. Such a move might bring more damage than improvements in developing the region.

5. Turning the Municipality into a City

The Bangsamoro Parliament Bill should look into establishing the municipality into a city instead of dividing it. City status could benefit the constituents more by opening doors to better job opportunities and business ventures. Urban facilities will progress as well when the locality is converted into a city. This approach would be more feasible for the long-term development of the whole region.

Therefore, dividing the municipality into three is not a wise decision. The Bangsamoro Parliament Bill needs to consider the disadvantages of this policy and turn their attention to more inclusive and comprehensive solutions in line with the main objectives of the CAB and the BOL. We can achieve unity, peace, and progress through a unified approach that will address the concerns of every sector of our community.

BANGSAMORO SPEAKS: No to division of Datu Odin Sinsuat into three towns

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