VERA FILES FACT SHEET: What’s next if BOL is ratified?

Initial results from Monday’s plebiscite to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) are in.

Maguindanao, a stronghold of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has voted overwhelmingly for the BOL, or Republic Act 11054, which aims to bring lasting peace in Mindanao.

The law, the product of lengthy negotiations between the MILF and the government, has also been ratified by more than half of the residents in Cotabato City.

Monday’s plebiscite, the first of two, was held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao–Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi–and the cities of Isabela and Cotabato. The second will be on Feb. 6, in Lanao Del Norte and North Cotabato.

A Social Weather Stations survey released Monday night showed 79 percent of Muslims nationwide favor the approval of BOL. Should the law indeed be ratified, here are at least three things that will happen when the law takes effect.

The ARMM, which the Aquino administration had dubbed as a “failed experiment,” will be abolished and replaced by a new entity to be called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)

Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi as well as the cities of Marawi, Lamitan and Cotabato will now be part of BARMM.

The province of Lanao del Norte except Iligan City; the towns of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigcawayan, Pikit and Midsayap in North Cotabato; and the city of Isabela in Basilan will become part of the Bangsamoro region should their residents vote in favor of their inclusion in BARMM.

To ensure no disruption while the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government, is being constituted, the following will be designated as the “caretakers” of the administration of the BARMM:

  • 25 incumbent elected ARMM officials
  • Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC)

The BTC, chaired by the MILF’s Ghazali Jafaar, has 21 members appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2017.

The BTA will serve until 2022.

The law provides that:

  • The BTA will be led by the MILF, without prejudice to the Moro National Liberation Front’s membership.
  • It will be composed of 80 members appointed by the President.
  • Incumbent elected ARMM officials automatically become members of the BTA until June 30, 2019
  • Non-Moro indigenous groups, women, youth, settler communities, traditional leaders and other sectors shall have its representative at the BTA.

The transitory government will possess both legislative and administrative powers. Its functions include enactment of priority legislation during the transition period such as the:

  • Bangsamoro Administrative Code
  • BangsamoroRevenue Code
  • Bangsamoro Electoral Code
  • Bangsamoro Local Government Code
  • Bangsamoro Education Code

The BTA will schedule the gradual phasing out of ARMM offices, taking into consideration public interest and delivery of services.

The first regular elections for the Bangsamoro government will be held in 2022, the same time as the national elections.

The new Bangsamoro government will be in parliamentary form composed of 80 members:

  • A chief minister to be elected by the parliament
  • Two deputy ministers to be appointed by the chief minister
  • 50 percent party representatives
  • not more than 40 percent parliamentary district seats
  • 10 percent sectoral representatives

Once the elected officials assume office, the BTA will be dissolved. It will submit a final report and recommendations on the status of the Bangsamoro government during the transition period to the newly elected officials, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Office of the President.


Official Gazette, Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Articles XV to XVI

Official Gazette, Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro

Official Gazette, Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro

Official Gazette, Executive Order No. 08, Series of 2016

GMA News Online, High voter turnout observed for BOL plebiscite, Comelec spokesperson says

ABS-CBN News, Former PH peace negotiator says BOL a lasting solution to Mindanao conflict

Social Weather Station, Fourth Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey: 79% of Muslims nationwide favor approval of the BOL

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)