COTABATO CITY, Philippines– Officials and employees of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) manifested on Monday their support to the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) as the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL starts voting Tuesday on the provisions of the measure and its endorsement to the plenary.

Hundreds of government workers attended the short program that followed the regular flag raising ceremony at the region’s seat in Cotabato City.

ARMM Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said the BBL is the best alternative to address the issue of peace and development in parts of Mindanao.

“Nandito tayo, nananalangin and giving our support for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL),” she said.

She noted that there are maybe some valid issues and concerns with the BBL, as raised by legislators in both houses of Congress, but the approval of the proposed law is the first big step in resolving the problems in the region.

After 48 hearing sessions, the 75 members of the Ad Hoc Committee on the BBL will vote on every provision of the proposed BBL and its endorsement to the House’s plenary.

Alamia said they’re expecting the committee to pass a BBL that is not “diluted,” adding that it should not have similar flaws with Republic Act No. 9054, the ARMM Organic Act.

She urged the committee members to vote based on their conscience and not on personal biases or political interests.

“Hopefully, iyong ipapasa nilang BBL should be a better and stronger autonomous region than our current setup,” she said.

Alamia said the BBL is the highest expression of the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro people.

The ARMM government has consistently manifested its support to the BBL and the entire Mindanao peace agenda.

It has initiated various programs and initiatives such as the YapaKapayapaan, KantaKapayapaan, YakaPayapaan and the ongoing “I Value Life, I Sign for Peace” campaign to underscore the call for peace and give meaningful contributions to the creation of a stronger political institution that will advance the legitimate aspirations of the Bangsamoro.

“We are laying down the foundations for the new Bangsamoro Government by preparing the region for the transition. Ang pagpasok ng bagong Bangsamoro Government ay hindi katapusan ng ARMM, hindi rin ito katapusan ng mga taong naninirahan dito. Bagkus ay mas magandang buhay para sa lahat ng mga mamamayan nito,” Alamia said. PNA