By Edwin Fernandez
COTABATO CITY – Officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and the provincial government of North Cotabato are in the midst of preparations for the smooth turnover of 63 North Cotabato barangays to the BARMM jurisdiction.
North Cotabato Vice Governor Emmylou Mendoza, serving as acting governor, met with BARMM representatives at the Capitol building in Amas, Kidapawan City on Tuesday to create the first Provincial Technical Working Group (TWG).
Mendoza said the TWG is tasked with laying down the mechanism of transition for the 63 villages from North Cotabato to BARMM.
The 63 villages, all Muslim-majority areas in six North Cotabato towns, voted for inclusion to the BARMM during the plebiscite in February this year.
Present during the meeting together with Mendoza were Provincial Interior and Local Government Officer Ali Abdullah, Philippine Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, Brigadier General Alfredo Rosario, BARMM DILG Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, and North Cotabato municipal officials of the towns of Aleosan, Pikit, Carmen, Kabacan, Pigcawayan, and Midsayap where the 63 villages are located.
Mendoza, who campaigned for the inclusion of 63 villages to the new political entity, said town mayors and their respective local government officers will regularly meet to lay down implementing guidelines for the smooth transfer of governance.
Currently, the BARMM’s 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority is considering the enactment of an edict that would form another province with four towns comprising the 63 villages.
BARMM is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan. (PNA)