The Bangsamoro flag was raised for the first time across the region today, 18 January, as a week-long commemoration of the region’s founding, marked by the 2019 plebiscite. As part of the events kicking off the region’s anniversary, a ceremonial flag-raising was conducted simultaneously across the BARMM, as the main program is held at the BARMM Compound in Cotabato City.

Minority Floor Leader and Member of Parliament Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia joined the people of Basilan during the flag-raising ceremony at the Provincial Capitol earlier this morning. Asked to share a message honoring this landmark event, MP Alamia said that the plebiscite was “a collective assertion of our dignity and identity as Bangsamoros,” which led to the establishment of a new juridical entity “built on the sacrifice and struggle of our ancestors who first fought for our right to self-determination.

”Emphasizing the collective nature of the Bangsamoro’s struggle for the right to self-determination, MP Alamia noted the importance of “building a community that respects and honors the diversity of our people, while establishing a government that lives up to the promise to meaningful self-governance that is representative of the aspirations and will of the Bangsamoro.”

The national government also expressed its solidarity through a statement issued yesterday, with the hopes that the regional government will “continue to the peace and security in BARMM in order to promote its economic activities and harness its full socio-economic potential to contribute to the overall development and inclusive growth of our nation.”

Different ministries have also prepared several activities throughout the week. To name a few, the health ministry will be conducting medical and surgical missions across the region and a turnover of critical equipment and supplies for safer cold chain management in anticipation of the Covid-19 vaccine, while the Education Ministry will hold a ceremonial awarding of subsidy grants for a number of madaris and issue checks to AHME (Access to Higher and Modern Education) scholars.

This year’s theme for the Bangsamoro Foundation Day is “Moral Governance: Building Strong Foundations for a Better Bangsamoro.” In attendance during the main program in Cotabato City are Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al-Haj Murad” Ebrahim, together with members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and cabinet, along with employees from the BARMM regional government.