By Teng L. Datu
Cotabato City Bureau Chief .
BULUAN, Maguindanao — Clad in their colorful Hijabs, the Bangsamoro women have assembled here to call for change in the region.
“We trust that there will be just and lasting peace not only in Mindanao but for the whole country once BBL is passed,” Halima Utto Mabang, president of the Association for Bangsamoro women for Community Development in Municipality of Datu Paglas, said.
Dalman Otto Nolaguia, also a delegate, narrated that she was a victim of conflict in Mindanao where she sustained gunshot wounds due to a battle in 1973. She pleaded the representatives to be instruments in ending the deadly conflict in the region.
“The light of Mindanao (passage of BBL), rests in your hands,” she said.
In the proposed bill, women shall have one reserved seat in Bangsamoro Parliament and will be represented in the Council of Leaders.
The BBL also provides that there shall be at least one qualified woman to be appointed to the Bangsamoro Cabinet.
The parliament shall enact a law that recognizes the importance of the role of women in nation-building and regional development, and ensures their representation in other decision-making and policy-determining bodies of the Bangsamoro Government.
A Bangsamoro Women Commission will also be created.
The House Committees on Local Government, Muslim Affairs, and Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity are currently conducting a series of deliberations and consultations in several cities and municipalities in Mindanao.
The hearings will continue in Tubod, Lanao del Norte on March 15 and will conclude in Marawi City on March 16. (with reports from opapp)