House okays on second reading bill postponing BARMM polls

September 14, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 47 views

A PROPOSED measure postponing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) elections was approved on second reading in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 10121 proposes the postponement of BARMM polls until 2025.

Under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the first regular elections of BARMM is synchronized with the 2022 national elections.

The bill will grant the President the power to appoint 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), who will serve up to June 30, 2025 when the incumbent members’ terms expire on June 30, 2022.

To date, the current BTA, which sits as the region’s parliament, has yet to enact its own electoral code. This document is needed to govern the supposed elections in May 2022.

Last January, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim vowed to finalize its electoral code in the first quarter of 2021, but the document has yet to materialize eight months away from the May 2022 polls.

The BTA is lobbying to postpone the elections, citing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but other groups in the region are opposing the move.

The House of Representatives is expected to approve it on third and final reading next week. In the Senate, its version was already approved.