THE BANGSAMORO government has submitted an P85.3 billion proposed budget for 2023, up 6.8% from this year’s P79.86 billion expenditure fund for the autonomous region in southern Philippines.
“This plan will hopefully transform the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to become a better environment for our people who shall enjoy the benefits of a better economy,” Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim told the region’s Parliament when he presented the budget on Monday.
In a statement from its information office late Tuesday, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said social services will continue to have the biggest allocation at 43% or 36.9 billion.
This covers programs on education, health, manpower development, subsidy to local government units, welfare and employment, and culture.
BARMM receives an annual block grant from the national government as provided under Bangsamoro Organic Law passed in 2018.
The general public services sector will get P28.2 billion, which will be spent for: public order and safety, including law enforcement; political administration; and general administration involving fiscal affairs, civil service, and legislative functions.
For the economic services sector, P19.9 billion is proposed for communications, infrastructure and transportation, agriculture, natural resources, trade and industry development, tourism, and energy.
The peace and stability sector will get P250 million.
“As enablers of socioeconomic development, the peace and stability sector focus its efforts on promoting peaceful and inclusive Bangsamoro society for sustainable development with access to justice and build effective and accountable institutions,” Mr. Ebrahim said.
DECOMMISSIONINGMeanwhile, the third phase of the decommissioning of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) armed members, covering around 14,000 combatants, was formally launched Tuesday.
Mr. Ebrahim said the ceremony serves as “a testament to the mutual confidence, trust, and commitment of the Government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front to the Bangsamoro Peace Process.”
The MILF signed the peace deal with the government in 2014, which paved the way for the passage of the organic law and establishment of the new BARMM.
The decommissioning process is complemented by socio-economic programs for those who lay down their arms.
Former MILF combatants are also given the opportunity to be integrated into state peace and security forces.
Turkish Ambassador Ahmet Idem Akay, chair of the Independent Decommissioning Body that oversees the process, commended both the government and the MILF for their continued commitment to the peace efforts. — MSJ