The Bangsamoro Parliament approved on Tuesday Resolution No. 497 which calls and urges the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage to promote, protect, and preserve the boat-making tradition in the Bangsamoro. Minority Floor Leader MP Atty. Laisa Alamia, one of the principal authors, fielded questions about the resolution on the floor during the period of interpellation, after MP Engr. Don Mustapha, also a principal author, presented the resolution via Zoom.

During the interpellation, MP Alamia emphasized the importance of boat-making traditions observed by “different nations of Moros belonging to the same region,” and how documenting and cataloguing said traditions provides “a good baseline for developing the existing boat-making industry in the region.” She also noted how the promotion, protection, and preservation of Bangsamoro culture and heritage can help supplement the ongoing efforts to uplift and improve the livelihoods of those who are in the boat-making industry.

Meanwhile, five proposed resolutions spanning different concerns authored by members of the Bangsamoro Parliament’s minority bloc were also taken up in Session No. 75 of its third regular session. Said concerns are updates on intergovernmental relations, the coconut industry, a suggested shift in materials used for procured fishing boats, alternative learning spaces for students, and an overall plan for establishing and upgrading hospitals across the region.

First on the list was Resolution No. 475 or a resolution requiring the government of the day (GOTD) to provide regular updates to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament on the status of the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB)’s policy discussions and agreements. Jointly authored by all seven members of the minority bloc, it was considered as a simple resolution and was included in the business of the day.

Also jointly authored by the minority was Resolution No. 528 or a resolution directing the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) to apprise the Parliament on the status of the region’s coconut industry, as well as regional compliance with Republic Act 11524, or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act. The resolution aims to ensure the inclusion of Bangsamoro coconut farmers in the Coconut Farmers Registry, and to seek an extension of the registration period for coconut farmer applicants in the region. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.

Acknowledging fishing cooperatives’ calls for the provision of wooden-hulled boats instead of fiberglass boats, the minority bloc filed a resolution directing MAFAR to modify technical specifications in its procurement of motorized banca, necessitating a shift from fiberglass boats to wooden-hulled ones. It also directs the same ministry to expedite the full implementation of their motorized boat distribution program. The shift in boat materials is due to maintenance issues, poor craftsmanship, and relative weakness that is usually encountered with fiberglass boats. Wooden-hulled boats, in addition, are easier to repair, weathers sea conditions better, and merits the trust of fisherfolks across the region. The resolution was referred to the Commititee on Agrarian Reform, Fisheries and Agriculture.

The minority bloc also filed a resolution urging the GOTD through the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) and the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to construct covered courts or other open structures that can be used as alternative learning spaces, given the health and safety concerns that come with closed spaces such as regular classrooms. The resolution is authored by MP Baintan A. Ampatuan, and she is joined by fellow MPs Atty. Laisa M. Alamia, Amilbahar S. Mawallil, Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr., Atty. Suharto M. Ambolodto, Engr. Don Mustapha A. Loong, and Sittie Shahara I. Mastura. It was referred to the Committee onPublic Works and Committee on Education.

Lastly, Resolution No. 532 which requires the Ministry of Health (MOH) to present an overall plan on establishing and upgrading hospitals across the region, providing indicative budget requirements in aid of legislation. The resolution was referred to the Committee on Health.