MILF hits delay in Transition funds
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2013 - 5:01pm

The release of the budget of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has been delayed, forcing the body to work without funds and office, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said on Friday.

In an editorial posted on its website luwaran.com, MILF said the delay could be vaused by red tape and the upcoming elections.

“Until now the BTC is functioning without a budget and office. The release of its P100 million initial fund is delayed.” The group said.

“The reason, we are sure, is the choking bureaucratic red tape almost normal in developing countries and the nearing May 13 national elections where everybody seems to be focusing,” it added.

The BTC is tasked to draft the law that would create the Bangsamoro entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The 15-man body was formed through an executive order issued by President Aquino last December. The law will be certified as urgent by Aquino and will have to be approved by affected residents through a plebiscite.

The creation of the BTC was provided in the framework agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the MILF and the government on October 15, 2012.

The MILF said the government should extend all necessary logistical support to the commission “to fulfill its historic mission” of writing the law for the Bangsamoro.
“Be this as it may, the budget for the BTC should be treated as a special case that requires special attention. Without a budget, it cannot move and discharge its duties and it cannot deliver,” the group said.

The MILF said President Aquino need not intervene in the issue since the concerned agencies can handle it.

For now, the MILF believes that the BTC should help itself pending the release of its funds.

“It (BTC) can start functioning, as it is doing exactly right now, while waiting for the release of the budget. It can talk to friends of the peace process especially international entities, to help in many other ways,” the group said.

Among the groups that provided assistance to the BTC are the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, which shouldered some of the commission’s logistical requirement.

“It is cardinal rule that if one wants help, it must help itself first,” the MILF said. – with B. Beltran

 

AQUINO AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BANGSAMORO TRANSITION COMMISSION BTC HUMANITARIAN DIALOGUE MILF MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT MUSLIM MINDANAO PRESIDENT AQUINO
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