Electoral Code a priority as BARMM 2025 Elections near
Lawmakers from both the Upper and Lower Houses recently met with Bangsamoro Parliament Members to conduct the first organizational meeting for the Philippine Congress-Bangsamoro Parliament Forum (PCBPF) in Pasay City. The key legislators and ministers of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) discussed priority laws and projects to further develop gains in infrastructure and peace in the region.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Speaker Martin Romualdez led the discussions, which revolved around important regional laws such as the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, Bangsamoro Local Government Code, Bangsamoro Revenue Code, and the Bangsamoro Law for Indigenous Peoples.
With the first BARMM Elections slated for May 12, 2025, the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, as well as other tangential laws and initiatives relating to infrastructure and security, were prioritized. “We have made significant progress, particularly in terms of peace and order, since the BARMM was established in 2019. We want to maintain, or even improve, that momentum, so we can look forward to a clean and honest election in 2025,” said Bangsamoro Parliament Member Atty. Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba, who is also the Bangsamoro Transition Authority’s (BTA) Floor Leader.
According to documents provided by the BTA, The Bangamoro Electoral Code (BEC) will enable the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to establish the Bangsamoro Electoral Office (BEO). As an autonomous region, the BARMM has its own parliamentary system of legislation, which assigns seats to parties with the most votes. The BEC also empowers the COMELEC to define the powers and responsibilities of the BEO, specifically on how it will handle processes and challenges that are unique to the region’s political system.
Zubiri, who is a principal author of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that officially established the BARMM, thanked all the lawmakers and ministers who attended in a Facebook post:
“Maraming salamat po kina Speaker Martin Romualdez, Speaker Pangalian Balindong, at lahat ng mga kasama nating mambabatas mula sa Senado, Kamara, at Bangsamoro Parliament! At salamat din kina Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, Sec. Amenah Pangandaman, Sec. Carlito Galvez, at Minister Mohagher Iqbal na nakasama rin natin sa forum. Tuloy-tuloy po ang ating pagtutulungan, para sa tuloy-tuloy na pag-asenso ng BARMM,” Zubiri wrote.
Also in attendance were Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, BTA Speaker Pangalian Balindong; MPs Jose Lorena, Raissa Jajurie, Eduard Guerra, Ubaida Pacasem, Omar Yasser Sema, Abdulkarim Misuari, Lanang Ali Jr., and Marjanie Macasalong; Senators Loren Legarda and Robinhood Padilla; House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe; Representatives Rex Gatchalian, Yasser Alonto Balindong, Joey Salceda, and Maximo Dalog, Jr.; Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and BARMM Minister Mohagher Iqbal, who are co-chairs of the Inter-governmental Relations Body (IGRB).