MP Mitmug legislative highlights

Member of Parliament Rasol Mitmug Jr. FILE PHOTO

As an appointed member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and current Deputy Minority Floor Leader of the Bangsamoro Parliament, Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. is committed to its mandate to ASSIST, SERVE, and SUPPORT his constituency. Since the appointment of MP Mitmug on September 2019, his Office has been working to fulfill his obligations and unique functions in his official capacity as legislator, public servant and as a Bangsamoro.

MP Mitmug drafted a total of 16 principal bills, all of which have yet to be approved. The bills are based on the BTA’s priorities (as stated in the Bangsamoro Organic Law), with a focus on the following areas: e-governance, education and youth, elections, health, strengthening of government/ organizational structures, and transitional justice and reconciliation. He also primarily authored 58 principal resolutions that were filed, 31 of which were approved. It is also based on the BTA’s recommendations. Priorities (as specified in the Bangsamoro Organic Law), with a focus on Agriculture, Covid-19 response, culture and heritage, finance, procurement, and taxation, health, Halal and Islamic finance, infrastructure, Intergovernmental relations (IGR), strengthening of government/organizational structure, transitional justice, peace and order, transition period, youth, education, and sports are just a few examples. MP Mitmug filed 39 co-authored bills, 5 of which were approved. He also filed 57 co-authored resolutions, of which 28 were approved.

Together with the rest of the Minority bloc, Mitmug filed Parliament Bill (PB) No. 134 (Bangsamoro Electoral Code), which has yet to be introduced in plenary. An electoral system, also known as a voting system, is a set of rules that govern how elections and referendums are held and how their outcomes are determined. Governments organize political electoral systems, whereas non-political elections can take place in business, non-profit organizations, and informal organizations. Constitutions and electoral laws define political electoral systems, which are typically run by election commissions and can use multiple types of elections for different offices.

Prior to the activation of the Committee of Amendments, MP Mitmug filed PR 401 Constituting the Members of the Committee on Amendments, Revision, and Codification of Laws on March 1 to activate such committee, and he reiterated his position last October before the BTA by refiling an enhanced version of the resolution.

The Office of MP Mitmug commissioned a study with the Development Advisory Group-Philippines (DAGph) to look into the state of the halal industry in the Philippines. The Minority bloc organized People’s Budget consultations with various stakeholders and players in the halal industry in collaboration with DAGph in order to develop comprehensive and responsive programs. On August 9-12, 2021, public consultations and site visits were held in Lanao del Sur. The Bangsamoro Organic Law (RA 11054) mandated that the Bangsamoro Government develop and implement a halal campaign. Section 30 of Article XIII states, “The Parliament shall enact laws to further strengthen its policy and programs on halal development.”

The Minority Bloc filed PR No. 570, “Resolution encouraging the Government of the Day (GOTD) to Adopt the People’s Budget on the Bangsamoro Halal Ecosystem Program for the Bangsamoro Halal Development and Promotion Program,” on November 25, 2021. This Office also filed PR No. 399, “Resolution commending the Asa Philippine Foundation Inc., for Islamic Financing Shariah Compliant Programs in the Philippines,” earlier this year (March 1, 2021), to recognize the ASA Foundation’s efforts and to encourage other similar organizations to implement if programs in the Bangsamoro.

Bangsamoro Literary Review (BLR) is an initiative of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Deputy Minority Floor Leader MP Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Jr. Edited by Gutierrez Mangansakan II and Kristine Ong Muslim, BLR pays a token fee for accepted works (short stories, poems, essays, comics, illustrations, literary translations, and hybrid narratives) written by people who have ties to the region. Works can be in any of the languages used in BARMM territories (Cotabato City, Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi), including, of course, Filipino and English. The inaugural issue of the Bangsamoro Literary Review (BLR) was launched on March 18, 2021 in celebration of Bangsamoro Day (also the same day for the commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre).

As one of its focus in legislation, Mitmug filed PR No. 140, Resolution Requesting for the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to Report Their Findings and Recommendations to the Cabinet Members and Bangsamoro Transitional Authority through the Invitation of the Office of the Chief Minister. This has been referred to the Committee on Rules. Relative to this measure, MP Mitmug co-authored AR No. 56, Resolution Calling for the Creation of the National Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Bangsamoro and the Formulation and National Implementation of a Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Program for the Bangsamoro.

MP Mitmug also filed PB No. 80 also known as the Bangasmoro Legal Holidays, for the recognition of local holidays in BARMM. This would include Bangsamoro Foundation Day, Eid-ul-Fitr (Hari Raya Puasa), Eid-ul-Adha (Hari Raja Haji), Jabidah Commemoration Day, and Sheik Karimul Makhdum Day. Bill No. 80 or the Bangsamoro Legal Holidays Act aims to commemorate not only the regular or usual holidays observed in the country but to give highlight and due recognition to the historical events that contributed to the Bangsamoro struggle.

He is also one of the principal authors for PB No. 115, a bill memorializing the Moro National Liberation Front Top 90 and Top 300 core members. PB No. 147, which seeks to create the Bangsamoro Council for Mental Health, and strengthen MHPPS programs in the region, is also a core component of transitional justice, aiming to address the MH problems caused by conflict. PB No. 147 was referred to the Committee on Health.

In response to reports of threats and verbal harassment faced by both frontliners and patients in the early days of the pandemic, Mitmug filed PB 65, prohibiting discrimination against persons confirmed or suspected of Covid-19. This was introduced on first reading. MP Mitmug also filed PR 223, commending all frontliners for their services in the fight against Covid-19. This was consolidated with PR 241 as Approved Resolution No. 74.

On mental health, MP Mitmug filed PR No. 269, directing the ministries to formulate comprehensive MHPSS programs for the region. This was referred to and adopted by the Committee on Health, although its committee report has yet to be read in the plenary. MP Mitmug then filed PB No. 147, which creates the Bangsamoro Council for Mental Health (a counterpart of the Philippine Council for Mental Health). If approved, this inter-agency body will plan, consolidate, implement and assess MHPSS programs of the region. MP Mitmug delivered his sponsorship speech on the measure and it was thereafter referred to the Committee on Health.

He is also involved in events, partnerships and sponsorships, the distribution of relief goods, and various outreach programs. The laws, bills, and regulations mentioned above describe how the Office of MP Mitmug stayed true to its mandate – with a focus on their aspirations and goals. As stated by MP Mitmug, “Every leadership transition should always consider and ensure that the trust of its constituency is strongly built. This would mean that people should have the assurance that the government can follow through its vow of allegiance to the agenda that they instituted, that the public servants will deliver quality and untainted service in consonance to their functions.” (PR)

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