TWO legislators of the Bangsamoro Parliament have proposed amendments to the autonomous region’s electoral code to strengthen sectoral participation by electing, instead of appointing, representatives for women, youth and other marginalized groups.
Members of Parliament Amir S. Mawallil and Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. are calling for a revision of Section 22, Article VI of Parliamentary Bill (PB) No. 29 or the Bangsamoro Electoral Code to indicate the “election” rather than “selection” of sectoral representatives.
“The whole process veers away from an election and instead proposes a manner of selection, which is administrative in nature,” Mr. Mawallil said in a statement.
“This is contrary to the express provisions of the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law) that clearly requires an election of reserved and sectoral representatives,” he said.
Mr. Mitmug pointed out that provisions of the electoral code should not supersede nor go against the BOL.
“As the famous legislative phrase goes: the spring cannot rise above its source. So, the electoral code cannot go beyond its source of power and mandate, which is the BOL,” he said.
The two Parliament members are also calling for amendments to the draft electoral code that will increase the number of women nominees by changing the minimum 10% requirement under the current version.
“We believe that 10% is too small a number to bring about meaningful change in support of the women’s agenda in the Parliament. And as the wording of the proposed bill says, it is ‘preferably’ and not even mandatory. So, we propose an increase in the number of women nominees and change the language of PB No. 29 to make it mandatory,” Mr. Mawallil said.
Under Republic Act 11054 or the BOL, the Parliament of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will have 80 elected members composed of 50% party representatives, 40% district representatives and 10% sectoral representatives.
The first parliamentary election in the region, which will be administered based on the electoral code, is scheduled in May 2025. — MSJ