Philippines: Bangsamoro accepts transition plan

By Riyaz ul Khaliq | Anadolu Agency


The provisional government in the newly-autonomous southern region of Bangsamoro in the Philippines has accepted a proposal for a transition to a permanent government.

Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, Interim Chief Minister of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority accepted the Proposed Transition Plan (PTP), agreed between the central government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippines News Agency reported.

The plan will involve the formation of a technical working group with the hope of eliciting "vital learning or lessons in bureaucratic norms, ethics, practices, and experiences," Ebrahim explained.

The PTP includes the critical priority rules that the transitional government should legislate about elections, local government, administration, education, revenue, and civil service, the report said.

"It is crucial for the codes to be passed into law to provide the necessary structure when crafting the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," it added.

The priority areas of the transitional authority will be education, health and sanitation, food security, and environmental protection.


Autonomous government

A historic referendum was held on Jan. 21 and Feb. 6 in southern Mindanao, granting autonomy to Moro Muslims in the Philippines.

On Feb. 26, Ebrahim took his post as regional premier from the central government’s governor in an official ceremony.

He was appointed by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to administer the Bangsamoro Transition Authority through to 2022.

With the comprehensive autonomy, Muslims will be free in their internal affairs, being able to establish and administer courts of Islamic law within their jurisdiction and manage their surrounding waters jointly with the central government.

They will be bound to the Philippines in foreign policy, though with some flexibility.

In addition, former fighters of the MNLF as well as those from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front will be eligible to join the official armed forces.