DAVAO CITY -- Member parliamentarians of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Ad hoc Committee on Administrative Code participated in a learning session and workshop aimed to equip them with knowledge and skills in drafting the rules for organizing the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) parliamentary government.


The two-day workshop at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on July 9 to 10 was designed to broaden understanding of relevant international and national systems and practices that can serve as models and lessons.


The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) together with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Philippines and International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) assembled a panel of experts to help sharpen understanding of BTA members on the breadth and limits of the regional parliamentary system under the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), national laws and the Philippine constitution.


Leading the roster of speakers was eminent law teacher and legal scholar Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders of the Melbourne Law School who discussed experiences and fundamentals of parliamentary system.


Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Stefan Jost, the representative in the Philippines of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, talked about the parliamentary system of his home country Germany.


The rest of the speakers were BTA member Atty. Anna Tarhata Basman; Atty. Rasol Mitmug, former Speaker of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly; Atty. Arlene Dada-Arnaldo, Deputy Secretary General, Committee Affairs Department of the House of Representatives; Director Jennifer “Jeff” Baquiran, Technical Staff Chief, Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives; Atty. David Robert Amorin, Deputy Secretary General of the Legislative Operations Department; Atty. Jose Lorena, Member of the BTA and Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on Administrative Code; Bai Intan Adil Ampatuan, Member of the BTA; Dr. Edna Co, Professor of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance; and Atty. Jose Norel Garong of the House of Representatives Bill Drafting Services.


Composed of 80 members appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the BTA has been constituted to plan, lay down policies and implement the transition to the regular BARMM government in 2022. The BTA is the interim government during the transition. Legislative and executive powers in the BARMM during the transition are vested in the BTA. The BOL mandates a regional parliamentary system for the BARMM. 


During the transition period, executive authority shall be exercised by the Interim Chief Minister while legislative authority shall be exercised by the BTA. The BTA is mandated to enact priority legislations that includes the Bangsamoro Administrative Code.


The Bangsamoro Administrative Code is a critical piece of legislation that will establish the rules and structures of governance in the BARMM as a regional parliamentary form of government. Considering the parliamentary system as “novel” in national and regional governance, members of the BTA particularly those belonging to the committee that will draft the Administrative Code need to broaden and sharpen their understanding on how best to organize and structure the  parliamentary system in the BARMM cognizant of international and national experiences, the Philippine constitution, national laws and the BOL.