Para sigurado ang plebiscite! Gov. Hataman suggests realignment of ARMM’s infra budget

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Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman has proposed that part of the regional government’s budget for next year be realigned for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite to be held in January next year.

Hataman made the proposal following reports that the P857-million fund needed for the plebiscite was not included in the proposed P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019.

“We support the BOL all the way and budget should not be a problem; we are recommending to allow part of the ARMM proposed budget to be used for the plebiscite,” he said.

He said that Congress may realign over P800 million of the proposed P10.1 billion infrastructure fund for the region next year for the plebiscite.

The lawmakers have said that from the proposed P10-billion budget submitted by the Comelec for 2019, the expenses for the plebiscite were not included.

The January plebiscite seeks to formally create the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), comprising of areas under ARMM’s existing jurisdiction, as well as affirm or reject the inclusion in the new region of the cities of Cotabato (Maguindanao) and Isabela (Basilan) as well as six towns in Lanao del Norte and 39 barangays in North Cotabato.

The creation of BARMM, which will replace ARMM, is provided under Republic Act No. 11054, or the Organic Law for the BARMM, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last July.