EU diplomat urges BARMM officials to hold wider consultations on electoral, local government codes

EU Ambassador Luc Veron looks on as BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Murad” Ebrahim greets MP Jack Abas and Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. during the turnover ceremony for equipment from the EU on Monday, January 16, 2022. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 17 January) – European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron on Monday urged officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to hold more extensive consultations on the BARMM electoral and local government codes.

Veron, who noted that the BARMM was at a crucial stage in its legislative process concerning the codes, said the consultations should listen to more voices from the marginalized and vulnerable groups in the region.

The diplomat came over for the turnover of two mini-buses and other equipment to BARMM as part of the Support to Bangsamoro Transition (Subatra) program, a 5-year programme funded by the EU and co-financed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, through an agreement with the Philippine government.

“We hope that more people will be reached especially those in the remote response of the region, more voices heard, information widely disseminated and  public service is more known and efficiently delivered beyond these buses and information equipment,” said Veron.

The EU is confident that after the transition period, a more responsive and capacitated Bangsamoro government will enliven the principles of democratic and inclusive governance as specified in the Organic Law for BARMM, he said.

“May the coasters serve as a symbol of our mutual trust and strengthen our collaboration as we approach the fulfillment of the transition period of the BARMM government,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Murad” Ebrahim said in his response.

BARMM Deputy Speaker Omar Yasser said they will use the EU donations to reach out to stakeholders and get their views on the electoral and local government codes.

The region will hold its first elections in 2025.

Newly appointed Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who attended the event, reaffirmed his support to the peace process.

He also announced that despite being appointed to the defense post he remains the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)