Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 1st Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Local Legislative General Assembly
Thank you very much for your introduction, Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim. [Please take your seats.]
The BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister, Minister Naguib Sinarimbo; the BARMM Finance and Budget Management Minister Ubaida C. Pacasem; members of the Vice Mayors’ League led by its regional chairperson Vice Mayor Almedzar Hajiri; members of the Philippine Councilors’ League led by your regional chairperson, Councilor Shariefuddin Lucman; my fellow workers in government. And I am very proud to be able to say that, that now you are part of the government and are my fellow workers and partners in government and that is an important, important landmark [applause]; our distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, Assalamualaikum.
I extend my heartfelt greetings to the esteemed leaders convened here today at this inaugural BARMM Local Legislative General Assembly.
Your presence here and the holding of this assembly signifies that the spirit of cooperation and unity runs strong amongst our BARMM leaders.
I recognize of course the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines and the BARMM Ministry of the Interior and Local Government for organizing this event.
The insights and the initiatives that will transpire from this discussion are crucial to our goal of achieving peace and progress in our nation and in BARMM governments.
As you use this platform to assess the challenges in the implementation of the Organic Act for the BARMM, you also explore the various collaborations that will improve the socio-economic condition of the Bangsamoro people.
It is very important and the simplicity of your ceremonies here today belies the importance of what we are opening today.
It is a landmark day. It is a historic day. It is historic and it is a landmark day because it is a measure of the progress that we have made over so many decades as we have strived for peace.
We have made some false starts. We have come to some successes. But we have never come this far. But it also reminds us how much work there still needs to be done.
The organization of a new regional autonomous government is something that we still have to learn about. It is something that we still have to study with the experiences of other people, other countries around the world and that was very much part of the discussion when we – we’re talking about how we were going to form the autonomous region, the government for the autonomous region, the parliamentary, the fusion as our minister has explained earlier, the fusion of the legislative and the executive.
How that is going to work, how we will conceptualize it, how we will operationalize it. That is the job that you have before you today.
To all our BARMM leaders, I assure you that this administration’s unwavering support for the development agenda to achieve sustainable and peaceful self-governance.
I am on my way today, later on today, I’m going to San Francisco, to the United States to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic conference and that is a very important thing that I have to do. But I insisted on coming here today and [applause] – to make time to remind all of you that this is an important day and it is important not only to BARMM but it is important to the entire Republic of the Philippines. [applause]
I have said it before but I will say it again, I have never recognized a Mindanao problem. Whatever problem is in Mindanao is a Philippine problem and that is why it requires efforts of all government to make sure that BARMM will be a success in the future.
With the activation of all seven mechanisms of the Inter-governmental Relations Body, a very important – there are seven offices that now have been put together that will serve as the basis for all the policies, all the laws that you will put together, that the Parliament will put together, even the rules and regulations for how the executive will execute those rules, that those laws that the Parliament will enact.
So, this is the beginning of that process of creating the institutions that we all know are necessary. So that we are not dependent on one group. We are not dependent on certain individuals alone. We are dependent on the institutions that will continue to work no matter what happens in the political sphere.
It is not an effort that is only happening in BARMM. It is also a process that we are endorsing, promoting, and encouraging in the national government to strengthen our institutions. But there lies the way forward. There lies the way to a safe, progressive, and resilient future.
The National and Bangsamoro governments will now have greater cooperation because of these offices that have now been established. We will have greater cooperation, greater coordination, and we will converge towards the realization of our shared endeavors.
I am also pleased to report that, during the recent visit of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, we signed and exchanged the Diplomatic Notes on the Non-Project Grant Aid for the acquisition of 6.8 million dollars-worth of Construction Equipment for Road Network Improvement and Disaster Quick Response Operation in BARMM. That is Japan. [applause]
We have continued in our contacts around – in the trips that I have taken for the government, especially when we are talking to the OIC, when we are talking to Malaysia, when we are talking to other Islamic countries, we continue to remind them that BARMM still needs their support. And I have to say to their credit that they have pledged that support and we will continue to support BARMM and that is an important part of the success that BARMM is going to have.
Because with these initiatives, we will usher in a new era where BARMM becomes a shining beacon of sustainable development in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines. We venture together on this collective journey, I invite each and every Filipino to significantly take part in forging our path of progress, of inclusivity, and prosperity for the Bangsamoro region and the entire nation.
We have already made our first steps. All we have to do is to continue what we have started to make sure that we never waver in our determination to succeed.
Thank you, and may this assembly be a source of inspiration and productive discourse for us all.
Mabuhay ang Bangsamoro!
Mabuhay ang Bagong Pilipinas! [applause]
— END —