House OKs bill postponing Bangsamoro region polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15)— The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on third and final reading a bill postponing the first regular elections of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

A total of 187 lawmakers unanimously voted to pass House Bill No. 10121, which seeks to move the BARMM polls from 2022 to 2025.

The bill aims to give the Bangsamoro government more time to “strengthen its foundations for a stronger regional government and economy.”

It also seeks to allow the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to set “better and sturdier foundations” and to translate efforts on the gains from the peace agreement.

Last week, the Senate approved its version of the measure.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The law abolished the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and established a new autonomous political entity with more power, including its own parliament.

The creation of the BARMM has raised hopes that the Bangsamoro will have a chance at genuine self-governance that it has been fighting for decades.