BTA extension: Use It Wisely

The buzz surrounding the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) extension has been everywhere in the region, with mixed reactions coming from several quarters of the Bangsamoro society. The differing views expressed somehow indicate that the issue is still contentious and debatable. However, a revisitation of some aspects may help put things into a little perspective.

It has been three years or so since the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had been implemented and it must be admitted that it was indeed undergoing a great deal of pressure from the national government and the people who overwhelmingly voted for it, to perform as expected. It is true that the BTA did not have much on its plate to begin with, but then, three years on, this card can no longer be put to play. There have been inevitable shortcomings. Three years is already a long time for the people to wait for tangible, sustainable results that would have uplifted the entire region from decades, and let it be said, even a century of poverty, misery, and strife.

But then, it would be too premature as well to declare that the BARMM would be taking the road to failure like its predecessor, the ARMM. The extension proposed could very well be used to make up for lost time and lost ground. However, the extension, if misused, could very well be construed by skeptics and an increasing number of disgruntled Bangsamoros to mean that it too, would be doomed.

Should the extension gain ground in the national legislative chambers, the BTA should seriously take note of its blunders and make amends, for example, by relieving those in its halls of power who have not performed well and replacing them with those who have better qualifications, and better yet, by those who have better and proven moral and ethical foundations that will strengthen, not weaken, the BARMM’s mandate to bring Islamic governance to the region. The BARMM owes its existence to the people who believed in it and voted for it, and it should do its utmost to use the extension to prove that the Bangsamoro people made the right decision three years ago. (PMT)

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