Welcome remarks of Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal at the "Seminar on the Role of Local Governments in Ministerial, Decentralized and Federal Systems" in Cotabato City on October 21 to 22,2013.



Dr. Peter Koppinger of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung,

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen of University of Hamburg/Germany, International Expert on Constitutional Law, former member of Hamburg State Parliament,

Other resource persons, fellow Commissioners and staff, Assalamu….


I welcome you to this seminar on the Role of Local Governments in Ministerial, Decentralized and Federal Systems. My special welcome to Prof. Dr. Ulrich Karpen who came all the way from Germany just to be with us today. 



Local Government Units (LGUs) play a very important role in evolving an accountable and effective Bangsamoro government. Under the principle of subsidiarity, because of their close proximity to the people, the lowest levels of government such as the LGUs are in the best and strategic position to effectively deliver basic services to grassroots communities.



Thus, we have to articulate in the Basic Law first, the role of the LGUs in the Bangsamoro government and second, the relations between the regional government and the LGUs.  In doing so, we will find the right balance and to harmonize the so-called “double autonomy” -- the autonomy of the regional government and the local autonomy of the LGUs, in order to bring about one, cohesive, effective and accountable Bangsamoro government. 



It is widely acknowledged that under the current system, the relationship of the regional and local governments is dysfunctional and ineffective. These “broken” relations do not create the environment for good governance, accountability and effective delivery of basic services to the communities. The challenging task before the Commission is to lay down the policies that will bring about harmonious and productive relations between the regional government and the LGUs and to evolve a brand of local governance that will effectively promote security and economic development in our communities.



We intend to draft these policies in accordance with the principles articulated in the GPH-MILF peace agreement and with due consideration to the concerns of local leaders and stakeholders. We can fulfil our task better if we have the broadest of knowledge and options on this issue from international and local experiences. This seminar is therefore designed to help broaden our understanding of the dynamics between regional or state governments and local governments by examining the structures in successful federal systems like in Germany. We will then see what lessons can be learned from the Germany system to our own context.


I thank the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Institute for Autonomy and Governance for organizing this seminar. My thanks to the resource persons for generously sharing their expertise and time with us. I wish everyone an engaging and productive seminar.