Article 14: REHABILITATION AND DEVELOPMENT

September 2, 2021

Article 14: REHABILITATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Section 1. Rehabilitation and Development

The Bangsamoro Government, with funding support from the Central Government, shall intensify development efforts for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of the Bangsamoro as part of the normalization process.

It shall formulate and implement a program for rehabilitation and development that will address the needs of MILF combatants/BIAF members and decommissioned women auxiliary forces, internally displaced persons, and poverty-stricken communities.

Section 2. Special Development Fund. – The Central Government shall provide for a Special Development Fund to the Bangsamoro for rehabilitation and development purposes upon the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

7 Billion Pesos shall be allocated for the first year87 following the ratification of this Basic Law. On the second year, the Special Development Fund shall be 10 Billion Pesos shall be paid out to the Bangsamoro Government over five (5) years, at the rate of 2 Billion Pesos per year, released at the beginning of each fiscal year.

Article 15: PLEBISCITE

Section 1. Establishment of the Bangsamoro.

(1) The establishment of the Bangsamoro and the determination of the Bangsamoro territory shall take effect upon ratification of this Basic Law by majority of the votes cast in the following provinces, cities, and geographical areas in a plebiscite conducted for the purpose:

a. The present geographical area of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); b. The Municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagoloan and Tangkal in the province of Lanao del Norte; c. The following thirty nine (39) Barangays in the Municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap in North Cotabato that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite under Republic Act No. 9054: i. Dunguan, Lower Mingading, and Tapodoc in the municipality of Aleosan (3); ii. Manarapan and Nasapian in the municipality of Carmen (2); iii. Nanga-an, Simbuhay and Sanggadong in the municipality of Kabacan (3); iv. Damatulan, Kadigasan, Kadingilan, Kapinpilan, Kudarangan, Central Labas, Malingao, Mudseng, Nabalawag, Olandang, Sambulawan, and Tugal in the municipality of Midsayap (12);88 v. Lower Baguer, Balacayon, Buricain, DatuBinasing, Kadingilan, Matilac, Patot, and Lower Pangangkalan in the municipality of Pigkawayan (8); vi. Bagoinged, Balatican, S. Balong, S. Balongis, Batulawan, Buliok, Gokoton, Kabasalan, Lagunde, Macabial, Macasendeng, in the municipality of Pigkawayan (11) d. The Cities of Cotabato and Isabela; and e. Those qualified for inclusion in the plebiscite, by way of resolution or petition. Section 2. Territorial Jurisdiction. - The plebiscite for purposes of determining the actual territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro shall be conducted, as far as practicable, within one hundred twenty (120) days from the effectivity of this Basic Law. For this purpose, the COMELEC shall undertake the necessary steps to enable the holding of the plebiscite within the said period. Section 3. Results of the Plebiscite. – (a) For the present geographic area of the ARMM: if the majority of the registered voters in each province and city vote in favor of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the respective provinces and cities shall be included in the Bangsamoro.

(b) For the municipalities of Baloi, Munai, Nunungan, Pantar, Tagaloan and Tangkal in the Province of Lanao del Norte: If the majority of the registered voters in each of these municipalities vote in favor of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the respective municipalities shall be included in the Bangsamoro. (c) For other barangays in the municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, Aleosan, Pigcawayan, Pikit, and Midsayap that voted for inclusion in the ARMM during the 2001 plebiscite: If the majority of the registered voters in each of these barangays vote in favor of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the respective barangays shall be included in the Bangsamoro.89

(d) For the cities of Cotabato and Isabela: If the majority of the registered voters in each of these cities vote in favor of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the respective cities shall be included in the Bangsamoro.

(e) For all other contiguous areas where there is a resolution of the local government unit or a petition of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters in the geographic area asking for their inclusion at least two months prior to the conduct of the ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). If the majority of the registered voters in each of these local government units vote in favor of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the respective local government units shall be included in the Bangsamoro.

Section 4. Plebiscite for Joining the Bangsamoro. – Any local government unit or geographic area outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Bangsamoro, but which are contiguous to any of the component units of the Bangsamoro, upon a verified petition for the conduct of a plebiscite of at least ten percent (10%) of the registered voters, submitted to the Bangsamoro Electoral Office.

Provided that, the inclusion of said local government unit or geographic area in the Bangsamoro shall be effective when approved by a majority of the registered voters within that local government unit in the plebiscite called for the purpose. Provided further that the schedule of the plebiscite shall be determined by the COMELEC through the Bangsamoro Electoral Office.

Section 5. Reconstitution of Local Government Units. – The Bangsamoro Parliament, may, by regional law, provide for the constitution of geographic areas in the Bangsamoro into appropriate territorial or political subdivisions depending on the results of any of the plebiscites herein. Nothing herein shall be construed to allow the Bangsamoro Parliament to create congressional districts.90

Section 6. Plebiscite Question. The question to be asked of the voters in the plebiscite shall be as follows: “Do you approve of the Bangsamoro Basic Law?” Section 7. Plebiscite Monitoring. – The COMELEC shall also provide for the accreditation of plebiscite monitors, including the international-domestic monitoring body created by the GPH and the MILF negotiating panels, in accordance with established international standards on election monitoring. The monitoring body will have access to all operations related to the conduct of the plebiscite and be able to conduct regular and random checks. The reports of the monitoring body shall be made available to the Panels for their disposition.

Section 8. Registered Voters. – All registered voters in the provinces, cities and geographical areas mentioned in Section 1 shall be qualified to participate in the plebiscite on the establishment of the Bangsamoro. Notwithstanding existing laws, rules, and regulations on overseas and local absentee voters, the COMELEC shall ensure that qualified voters for the plebiscite who are located outside the Bangsamoro on the date of the plebiscite shall be given the opportunity to vote, and that voters who are currently registered outside the areas specified but are otherwise qualified to be registered voters of the areas, complying with residency requirements under law, shall be given the opportunity to transfer their registration accordingly, in time for the conduct of the plebiscite.

The COMELEC shall conduct a special registration before the date of the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The COMELEC shall promulgate rules necessary for the conduct of plebiscite, including those for the accreditation of plebiscite monitors, voluntary inclusion in the plebiscite and the special registration of voters as provided herein, within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of this Basic Law, with the primary objective of optimizing the opportunity for participation in the plebiscite of qualified voters in the areas specified for the creation of the Bangsamoro.91

Section 9. Information Campaigns. – The Commission on Elections shall supervise the conduct of information campaigns on the plebiscite, including sectoral campaigns for indigenous communities, women, youth, religious, professionals and public and private sector employees, in every municipality, city, and province where the plebiscite is held.

Public conferences, assemblies, or meetings on dates before the plebiscite day itself shall be held to inform the residents thereof regarding the significance and meaning of the plebiscite and to help them to cast their votes intelligently. Free, full, and constructive discussion and exchange of views on the issues shall be encouraged.

For this purpose, the assistance of persons of known probity and knowledge may be enlisted by the Commission on Elections, the local government units or interested parties to act as speakers or resource persons.

Such campaign will be without prejudice to other information dissemination and public advocacy initiatives by the other government or non-government groups or individuals. For information campaigns and other public advocacy initiatives with indigenous communities, local leaders shall be engaged to lead discussions in their respective communities.

Public advocacy initiatives shall be conducted within the framework of solidarity, cooperation, and unity among Moro, indigenous, and settler communities. Consultations shall give due respect to the roles of indigenous and Moro women, and encourage their active participation.

Section 10. Appropriation. – A sufficient amount is hereby appropriated for the requirements of the conduct of the plebiscite, including the monitoring, information campaign and the registration of voters; Provided, that the Commission on Elections shall determine the manner of campaigning and the deputization of government agencies for the purpose.92