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2 BARMM solons want new agencies for agri, agrarian and aquatic resources

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 23:30 PM Tue Sep 20, 2022
Edwin O. Fernandez
MPs Amil Mawallil and Atty. Suharto Ambolodto

COTABATO CITY  – Two regional lawmakers in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) have proposed separate agencies for agrarian reform, fisheries and aquatic resources, and agriculture pushed in the Bangsamoro Parliament

On Tuesday, the duo, both members of the interim Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), have drafted and filed three measures seeking to create three separate ministries that will focus on agrarian reform, fisheries and aquatic resources, and agriculture.

Members of Parliament Amir Mawallil and lawyer Suharto Ambolodto, filed the following bills:

Parliament Bill No. 11 or an act creating the Ministry of Agrarian Reform, defining its powers and functions, appropriating funds therefor, and other purposes.

Parliament Bill No. 12 or an act creating the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, defining its powers and functions, appropriating funds therefor, and other purposes.

Parliament Bill No. 15 or an act reorganizing the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, renaming it to the Ministry of Agriculture, adjusting its units, appropriating funds therefor, and other purposes.

"It is clear that agriculture should be a priority agenda of the autonomous region, as it is one of the main sources of livelihood in the region," Mawallil said.

"Hence, this bill seeks to reorganize the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) by establishing the Ministry of Agriculture to focus on the distinct needs of the agricultural sector in the Bangsamoro Region. Under this proposed measure, the Ministry of Agriculture shall be the agency responsible for the promotion of agricultural development by providing the policy framework, public investments, and support services needed for domestic and export-oriented business enterprises," Mawallil added.

Meanwhile, MP Ambolodto emphasized the need to create a separate ministry for fisheries that will “focus on the fisheries and aquatic resources sector, including the development of the fisheries infrastructure in BARMM—such as processing facilities, cold storage, and new markets—can optimize existing production limitations.”

He added: “This will likewise strengthen the institutional capacities of MFAR as the  primary  policy  and  regulatory body on fisheries and aquatic resources."

Both MPs Mawallil and Ambolodto also believe that a separate ministry for agrarian reform in the region will serve a larger and more in-depth role.

"It shall be the principal agency to assist the Bangsamoro Government in the implementation of the agrarian reform law, and land reform programs and projects. It shall also implement national programs and projects intended for the Bangsamoro Region, as consistent with the regional laws, customs, and traditions of the Bangsamoro people," both lawmakers said.

Supporting the three bills were MPs Laisa Alamia, Rasol Mitmug Jr, Don Mustapha Loong, Baintan Ampatuan, and Rasul Ismael.

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