Concern over high poverty rates in BARMM | Inquirer Opinion

Concern over high poverty rates in BARMM

/ 05:02 AM December 14, 2023

The highest poverty rates in the country, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, are in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) ranging from 50 percent to 70 percent. The residents pin their high hopes for the development of their land, sea, and mineral resources. BARMM, when it was created in 2019, brought newfound hope and idealism to its residents of having finally found the end to the Muslim-led extremism of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front revolutionary factions; to them, it ushered a new era of economic development for the region.

Mindanao, among the other regions of the country, has enormous untapped sea, land, and mineral resources. BARMM was expected to have gone far with its organization to be considered ready for its first regional elections in 2022; however, it was not organizationally ready and Congress had to extend the transition government for another three years until 2025.

The normalization of BARMM as a regional government of 4.4 million residents of six provinces namely Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi lacks an executive order on operational matters: 1) What would be BARMM’s share from the national revenue allotments of the provinces? 2) In developing the area’s economic resources, would the National Economic and Development Authority spearhead it? Or would it be left to the autonomous power of BARMM? 3) Would the holding of its first elections take place in 2025? 4) Considering the intricacies of civil administration is it safe to assume sufficient exposure and expertise are with the erstwhile revolutionary groups now? Has comprehensive administrative planning been cascaded to them by the national government?


We should not add fuel to the fire with irresponsible speculations of increased Christian-Muslim conflict in the recent bombing of a Catholic Church Mass at Mindanao State University. Many of us with mixed ethnicity grew up together respecting each other’s distinct religious persuasions. However, worsening poverty can drive some to fall for extremism.

MARVEL K. TAN, [email protected]

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, BARMM poverty

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.