Bangsamoro Transition Authority interim chief minister Murad Ebrahim has retained his position as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the oath-taking of the new BTA members on Friday.
Marcos pledged his full support to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as he recognized the important work that the interim government needs to complete in three years, from the enactment of basic laws and fiscal policy to the conduct of elections.
“Such important laws to be passed in three years is not an easy task, and that’s why I will be here as head of the national government to support BARMM,” he said.
“We are given another chance because of the extension of the Transition Authority. We are given another chance, but we have three years, and three years is not a long time for this rather basic and fundamental and highly important pieces of legislation that have to be produced now by the Transition Authority,” he added.
He underscored the need to complete the work in 2025 as there will no longer be any extensions for the transition body.
“In 2025, we will no longer have any extensions to the authority, and we will conduct elections,” he said.
Republic Act No. 11593 reset the first regular elections in BARMM to have it synchronized with the 2025 national elections.
The law also extended the transition period and allowed the BTA to continue as the interim government in the region.
It also mandated the President to appoint 80 new members who shall serve up to June 2025.
“It is important that we’re going to give a voice to all the stakeholders, to all the parties that are involved. But I’m confident because I have seen the list of the new appointees, the new members, and I believe that everyone has come on to be part of this process with a sincere desire to get BARMM back into the normal fold of life in the Philippines,” Marcos said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Philippines Gustavo Gonzales also attended the oath-taking rites.
The new BTA composition is headlined by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with 41 nominees while the government has 39.
In a statement, the BTA said the new members are lawyers, lawyer-certified public accountants, engineers, teachers, doctors, architects, media practitioners, politicians, former elected officials at the local levels and government bureaucrats.
They are the representatives from the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-Tawi, as well as members of the Bangsamoro community in North Cotabato, indigenous peoples who are not Moro, the Kalagan or Kagan community in Davao Oriental, and Christian or settler communities in Davao City and Cotabato City.