EXAMINING THE BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS

REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO (BARMM)

BUDGET FOR FY 2021


By:

Angelito Niño Presentacion C. Verzosa, Jr.
Consultant, Access Bangsamoro

Zy-za Nadine N. Suzara
Research Fellow, Access Bangsamoro

Atty. Dion Lorenz L. Romano
Program Manager, Ateneo Bangsamoro Initiative

Bernadette Chloe P. Torno
Research Assistant, Access Bangsamoro


INTRODUCTION

The Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) accords greater autonomy to the Bangsamoro people, granting them the right to political and economic self-determination and the right to pursue development programs according to their unique historical, cultural, religious, and regional context. Particularly, the BOL expands fiscal autonomy by authorizing the Bangsamoro Government to determine their context-specific priorities and to allocate funds that would respond to their development needs.

Under the BOL, the BARMM is entitled to receive an annual block grant equivalent to 5% of national revenue collections as well as shares from taxes collected in the region and other revenues derived from the exploration, development and utilization of its natural resources.  These sources shall be used to finance the annual budgets of the BARMM and allocated for expenditures that would support the priorities encapsulated in the Bangsamoro Development Plan. The BDP lays down the socio-economic direction of BARMM from 2020 to 2022 and beyond.

Since the launching of the first Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP), the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) – the interim regional government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) – has strived to establish an environment that promotes people-centered policies and programs. In the same way, the BTA has also enacted annual budgets that comply with the priorities set forth in the BOL. For fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021), the BTA enacted the Php 75.6-billion General Appropriations Act of  BARMM (GAAB). BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, Al Haj said that the government hopes to utilize this budget to “create programs and policies that will simultaneously revive the economy, deliver basic services to the constituents, and revisit public health institutions”.

This policy paper provides a general review of the General Appropriations Act of the Bangsamoro (GAAB) for FY 2021. The succeeding sections present the sources of financing available to the Bangsamoro Government, the changes in allocation per ministry vis-a-vis the region’s budget for FY 2020, and the key program expenditures for FY 2021 under. The paper also discusses some issues and emerging challenges t to the region’s budget process. Lastly, the paper ends by providing some recommendations to make the BARMM budget responsive to the needs of the Bangsamoro people and its budget processes more transparent and participatory.



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