ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 10 (PNA) –- A Malacañang official has allayed fears of the residents that this city will be included in the future into the Bangsamoro region because of the “opt-in” provision in the proposed Basic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BLBAR).
The Bangsamoro region will replace the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) once the proposed BLBAR is enacted into a law.
Undersecretary Jose Lorena of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) made this clarification Wednesday during a media forum on the peace process, citing this city is not contiguous by land to the ARMM.
Lorena said what is being discussed now in Congress is contiguity by land to be able to avail of the opt-in provision if and when in the future a city or a province wanted to be part of the Bangsamoro region.
Lorena said this city will not be a part of the Bangsamoro region even if there will be petitioners since “the requirement of contiguity will not be complied.”
“If it is contiguity by sea, it is possible since this city is an immediate neighbor of Basilan,” he said. Basilan is one of the five ARMM provinces.
Lorena said the only areas contiguous by land to the Bangsamoro region are the provinces of Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
Lorena spearheaded the conduct of a forum to update the public on the development of the peace process through the media. (PNA)