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BARMM’s proposed 2024 budget allots P30.2-B for education

COTABATO CITY — Almost 30% of the proposed P98.46 billion budget of the Bangsamoro regional government is earmarked for education programs in its six provinces where illiteracy is so prevalent owing to decades of secessionist conflicts.

Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao personally turned over on Tuesday afternoon to the speaker of the 80-member BARMM parliament, Pangalian Balindong, the documents pertaining to the proposed 2024 budget for the operation of the BARMM government.

The proposal has an allocation of P30.2 billion for education programs via the region’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education.

A popular member of the regional parliament, Kadil Sinolinding, Jr., said in a statement released on Wednesday that the Bangsamoro chief minister deserves a “tap on the shoulder” for having allocated P30.2 billion for the regional government’s 2024 education thrust.

“Education is so important in fostering lasting peace and sustainable development in all of the municipalities and cities in BARMM,” Sinolinding, a physician-ophthalmologist, said.

BARMM’s education ministry need P745 million next year for the construction of more school buildings, libraries and other learning facilities in the region’s core territory that covers the provinces of Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan and Marawi.

“This early, we in Lamitan City are thanking the BARMM regional leadership for reserving such an amount for education activities next year in the autonomous region. We are optimistic that the parliament will approve the proposal that the chief minister submitted to Speaker Balindong last Tuesday," Myra Mangkabung, superintendent of schools in Lamitan City in Basilan, said.

The region’s finance minister, Ubaida Pacasem, said BARMM's 2024 proposed P98.46 billion budget shall be drawn from its P70.5 billion Annual Block Grant from the national government, P5.08 billion from shares in taxes generated from within the area of autonomy, P5 billion from the Special Development Fund, P471 million from projected 2024 regional tax collections and