The Bangsamoro Parliament has concluded its deliberations on the Bangsamoro Administrative Code (BAC) as this week’s special session continues. Cabinet Bill No. 60 or “An Act Providing for the Bangsamoro Administrative Code and for Other Related Purposes” has been approved by the parliament, with a total of 58 members voting in favor of the measure. 

Minority Floor Leader Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia has actively participated in the deliberations since the bill was filed in late July. Emphasizing the importance of the legislation, MP Alamia called upon the parliament to “enact a code that will outlast the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, and fulfill what the Bangsamoro people agreed to: a government that is parliamentary and collegial.”

Raised Concerns

Throughout the period of deliberations, MP Alamia raised several points to enhance the bill, especially with regard to the distribution of powers. The enhanced version of the bill that was tackled during the special session reflects some of the comments she submitted to the technical working group during the early stages of drafting the legislation. These include provisions concerning the chief minister’s powers to remove ministers from the cabinet and the proposed exclusive right of the Government of the Day to initiate legislation.

She sought the diffusion of the chief minister’s powers, consistent with the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the constructive spirit of parliamentary governance. She stated that the chief minister both makes and implements laws in a parliamentary form of government, and therefore the BAC should be careful in attaching broad powers to the position. 

She also emphasized the principles of democracy in her interpellation last Tuesday, October 27. She reiterated that ministerial responsibility is a fundamental constitutional principle in a parliamentary form of government  to ensure both collective and individual accountability of the Ministers to the Parliament and,  ultimately, to the constituents. 

She also sought clarifications on sectoral representation, their legitimacy, and qualifications in intergovernmental bodies. 

The cabinet bill was earlier referred to the Committee on Rules, which created a technical working group to conduct consultations to improve the bill. Months of deliberation and discussion are set to culminate this week, as the parliament prepares to conclude its special session. Once enacted into law, the BAC will institutionalize the regional government’s structure, functions, and procedures within and beyond the transition period. Apart from the BAC, the parliament has also tackled and referred Cabinet Bill No 70 or the Bangsamoro Education Code to the Committee Level.

A copy of the Bangsamoro Administrative Code shall be published in this site upon the release of an official copy by the Office of the Secretary General.