Cotabato City (June 17, 2020)—“Siniguro natin na ang Bangsamoro Government ay ramdan ng tao.” This was the statement of Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim during the opening of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament’s Second Regular Session Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in Cotabato City.
Chief Minister Ebrahim underscored the efforts of the Bangsamoro Government in fighting Covid-19 pandemic, guided by the strategic directions, namely: institution building and strengthening; strategic partnerships; and ‘Ramdam ng Tao’ strategy.
Ebrahim highlighted the Ramdam ng Tao strategy as “the main component of the Bangsamoro Government’s Covid-19 response, where it puts the people as the main core of its policies and programs.”
He noted that the Bangsamoro Government has already distributed at least 433,161 food packs and relief goods to its targeted beneficiaries. This would also include the allocation of 200 sacks of rice that each Members of Parliament (MP) distributed to their respective constituents.
Not to mention the quick creation of Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force, the different partnerships with national and international counterparts, budget allocations, as well as the strengthening of health infrastructures to respond with Covid-19 emergency.
Further, Ebrahim said that the Bangsamoro Parliament continues its legislative task despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This includes the enactment of priority legislation, transition plan, programs and policies of the government of the day aligned with the government’s call for moral governance, the Marawi rehabilitation consistent with the 12-point priority agenda, and the realization of important provisions of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
“All of these, on top of running a transition government that is responsive to the needs, struggles, and aspirations of the Bangsamoro. It is indeed a big task. A task that we must, by all means, fulfill to give justice to the blood, sweat, and tears of our people,” Ebrahim stressed.
He added, “the Covid-19 crisis is, indeed, a big challenge, but it also serves as as opportunity for us to test ourselves and showcase what we are capable of doing despite undergoing the difficult stage of the transition period.”
Bangsamoro Wali Khalipa Usman Nando, officially declared the opening of BTA Parliament’s Second Regular Session.
“I urge this August body to make all efforts to overcome the reasons for the delay in all education, economic, health, and social, and cultural programs and reforms,” Wali Nando uttered in Arabic language.
Meanwhile, Speaker Atty. Ali Pangalian Balindong officially welcomed a new MP, Abdullah Hashim, the son of the late Shiekh Salamat Hashim.
The said session followed the minimum health standards set by the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force in holding events with only 50% of the actual capacity of the venue.
With this, only 69 out of 80 MPs were present in Tuesday’s session—52 physically responded to the roll call, while 17 responded via video conference.
Each MP, together with their staff, maintained physical distancing, had their body temperature scanned, and sanitized hands before entering BTA session hall.
The Second Regular Session shall be conducted every third and fourth weeks of the month from Tuesday to Thursday.
It can be recalled that the First Regular Session was put on hiatus mid-March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. (Bureau of Public Information)