Regional Updates (02/25/21)

Approved Bangsamoro Civil Service Code covers indigenous peoples, Shari’ah Bar and madaris teachers

THE Civil Service Code for the Bangsamoro was approved Wednesday, one of the priority legislations crucial to the new region’s transition. The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM) civil service law is mainly in line with the Philippine’s rules on government workers, but with additional provisions in consideration of the region’s sociological, cultural, and historical background. Among the distinct points of the BARMM code is the development of special examinations for members of indigenous peoples groups. “We want the examination giving bodies, like the Civil Service Commission, to conduct special exams to make that kind of eligibility (for government service), that require those examination, more reachable to our communities,” said BARMM Member of Parliament Anna T. Basman in a press release from the regional government. Ms. Basman and Deputy Majority Floor Leader Raisa H. Jajurie led the defense of the legislation during hearings among the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. The code also recognizes passing the Shari’ah Bar as an eligibility factor for appointments to certain positions. “This is based on the ORAOHRA (Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions) provisions, and it emanates from Supreme Court decisions which has the power over the administration of the Shari’ah Bar,” Ms. Jajurie said. For teachers in madaris, or Islamic schools, guidelines will be set on qualifications, appointments and promotions, which will be included in the Bangsamoro Education Code. Pending the education law, the rules will be based on the recommendations of the region’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education. “Not only did we accomplish yet another mandate as stipulated under the BOL (Bangsamoro Organic Law), but we have also paved the way towards standardizing the regional bureaucracy that can truly manifest the shared aspirations of our people,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim said during the code’s signing ceremony Wednesday night. The BOL requires the passage of several legal codes for the region. The transition body is focusing next on those covering education, local government, revenue, and elections.

1st African Swine Fever case in Tacloban City confirmed

TACLOBAN City has been added to the list of areas in the Eastern Visayas Region with a confirmed case of the African Swine Fever (ASF), with one farm infected. The city government announced Thursday that the Department of Agriculture’s regional office reported the positive result on Wednesday that came from Barangay 84. “The Regional ASF Task Force, together with the local government unit thru the City Veterinary Office shall undertake the necessary measures for the rapid containment and elimination of the disease. Part of which is the mandatory humane slaughter and proper disposal of all pigs within the 500-meter radius infected zone,” the city’s information office said. Agriculture Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez met with Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez on Feb. 24 to discuss the indemnification process for affected hog raisers. Mr. Romualdez committed that stricter border controls and intensified monitoring measures will be undertaken to stop the spread of the virus. Tacloban City serves as the regional center. ASF cases were first reported in the region in January this year. The affected areas are the towns of Abuyog, La Paz, and Javier, all in Leyte province. These are so far the only ASF infections in the Visayas, which cover the country’s central islands. On Wednesday, the Agriculture department said Eastern Visayas was not among the areas that shipped hogs and pork supply to Metro Manila due to “insufficient” stock. More than 436,000 hogs have been culled as of end-January across the country, mainly in the northern mainland of Luzon, since the first ASF outbreak was confirmed in 2019. — MSJ


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